By John Lee.
Underlining its commitment to help strengthen Iraq's energy infrastructure, GE Oil & Gas has established a new technology and service center near Basra City. The facility, which was opened earlier this month, brings the latest GE technology and expertise to local customers to help boost production in the Rumaila oil field.
In addition to being a base for the supply of pressure control equipment to Iraq's drilling and production sector, the new center provides a wide range of services including installation and maintenance, testing, inspections, repair and storage. Future services will include complete non-destructive testing capabilities, machine, welding and heat treatment, blasting and painting and API certification and recertification.
Rami Qasem, president and chief executive officer for the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey of GE Oil & Gas, said:
"The new Basra center provides a broad spectrum of solutions under one roof and is situated locally to meet our customers' demands for rapid drilling and production support. Through our investment in strengthening our local presence, we are able to significantly improve our delivery time for products and services, while also giving us a base for training and developing a local work force.
"The center not only builds on our long-term commitment to the country but also complements the government's focus on promoting job creation and nurturing the technical skills of the Iraqi professionals. The center supports our global strategy to be closer and more responsive to our customers, wherever in the world that we do business."
Rumaila is one of the largest oil fields in the world, and its continued development is a key to Iraq's long-term economic growth. More than 250 production wells currently are operating in the field, located near the Kuwaiti border in southern Iraq. The oil produced from the field represents about 40 percent of Iraq's total oil production.
In addition to supplying equipment and services, GE continues to increase its in-country presence. As part of its plans for expansion in Iraq, GE opened three offices in Baghdad, Erbil and the southern oil and gas hub of Basra, building on its 40-year history of operations in the country.