Exclusive Interview with Nick Nawfal, Geo-market VP - Saudi & Bahrain, at Baker Hughes, a GE Company (BHGE) 

Baker Hughes, a GE Company (BHGE) is committed to working with local partners to help build the right ecosystem to drive the market’s attractiveness in Lebanon’s oil and gas industry, says Nick Nawfal, the company’s Geo-market VP for Saudi & Bahrain.

BHGE presents itself as the ‘world’s first and only fullstream company.’ With its portfolio, technology and the people, the company has the fullstream capability to ‘radically transform the oil and gas industry and deliver unparalleled improvement in industrial yield for customers, from reservoir to refinery...’

BHGE is a major sponsor of the 4th Lebanon International Oil & Gas Summit.  The LIOG team discussed with the BHGE’s Geo-market VP for Saudi & Bahrain the company’s perception, future plans and commitment to Lebanon’s oil and gas industry. 

How do you evaluate the potential of Lebanon’s petroleum sector? 
We believe the market in Lebanon has a lot of potential.  In the last few years, we have
seen some very promising oil and gas discoveries, explorations and pre-explorations in neighboring countries that could help reduce the risks during Lebanon’s explorations and pre-explorations phase and expedite the learning curve. 

Currently, the oil and gas sector in Lebanon is in its pre-exploration phase and we believe that this brings a lot of opportunities and investment to the market. Additionally, with the recent legal, economic and financial reforms, the sector now has a strong framework and structure that makes it easier to operate. We believe that an ecosystem for Lebanon’s oil and gas sector has been created which creates a unique opportunity for local Lebanese companies and SME’s hence strengthening supply chain. 

The demand for natural gas is one of the country’s key priorities due to its correlation with local consumptions, support electricity, heating and possibly exports in the future. Together, this has a huge impact on household, industrial, commercial and transport hubs. This marks a new era for Lebanon’s energy sector which has a strong and direct impact on the country’s economy, industry and stability. 

Do you have any assessment of the required investments in your sector for this nascent industry? 
Today, we’re still at the pre-exploration phase, therefore our assessment and evaluation of the situation is ongoing. The deep-water offshore exploration is very heavy on capital and requires massive investment in infrastructure that is required to support the drilling, production and transportation phase. However, we see the value and potential in the market and we’re keen to be part of this transformation era for Lebanon’s oil and gas sector from the start. 

What can drive the growth in investments? 
As discussed before, the overall growth in the oil and gas sector acts as an enabler and catalyst for growth economically and across industries. This movement in country makes the market more attractive for local and foreign investments. It creates opportunities to invest in the infrastructure to match this growth. We believe reducing technical and geopolitical uncertainties will help investors to have more trust in the Lebanese ecosystem to support this pre-exploration phase; we also see the potential for Lebanon to be a hub or services, drilling, logistics and manufacturing for the oil and gas sector in the future. 

What role can your company play in developing the oil and gas sector in Lebanon?
BHGE is a fullstream company and we rely on cutting-edge technology, digital solutions, and experts’ service across every segment, from upstream to midstream and downstream. We also have extensive experience across the region in areas such as localization and innovation that can help bring best practices to the market, improve local know-how and capabilities, create jobs and strengthen supply chain. 

BHGE has a well-established name in the market, we have our legal entities set up in Lebanon we’re establishing our footprint in the Lebanese market, however, we have strong relationships with our customers and local partners and we’re keen on building on them as we move forward. 

What are your expectations from your participation in the 4th edition of the Lebanon International Oil and Gas Summit? 
LIOG is a prominent oil and gas summit in Lebanon and it’s important for us to be there. We’d like to use this platform to showcase our capabilities and highlight how we can support Lebanon’s needs when it comes to oil and gas. Additionally, it is a great opportunity to network and meet government officials and industry leaders to strengthen relationships and explore opportunities for collaboration. 

On a personal level, I have participated all LIOG summits since its beginning and I’m keen on promoting the opportunities that exist in the market to the region and the world to help expedite growth which will boost the economy. It’s important to work with our local partners to change the perception of investors regarding the oil and gas industry in Lebanon and to help build the right ecosystem to drive the market’s attractiveness. To me, this is a personal commitment. 

Based on your experience, what are your recommendations to other industry leaders?
I would tell all industry leaders to look at new markets that have huge potential for growth; I would encourage them to invest and bring their global know-how, best practices and operation hubs to Lebanon. From experience, new markets always present win-win opportunities and should be maximized. 

How do you describe the activities of Baker Hughes - GE in general? 
BHGE has been contributing to the development of the Middle East’s oil and gas industry for many decades and owns the fullstream solutions and capabilities that can provide our customers a magnitude of services and products that meet their needs. We have upstream, midstream and downstream capabilities, in addition to digital capabilities that can transform outcomes and optimize operations for customers. In addition, our expertise in localization in countries like Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Egypt, as examples, helps us to better serve our customers and the markets we operate in. Finally, I’d say innovation is an integral part of who we are, and we’re always keen on bringing our latest solutions to meet the local market needs. 

How can the new merger between Baker Hughes and GE help the oil and gas industry in Lebanon? 
Across the industry, the focus now is on integrating products, services and processes quickly and seamlessly, so we can improve productivity and project economics for our customers and start building long-term value for our shareholders. 

We created a new category, becoming the industry’s first and only fullstream company. Fullstream means we offer solutions across the energy value chain: from the reservoir to the refinery, from upstream to midstream to downstream. Fullstream means smoother operations and deeper connections.

Ultimately, no other company brings together capabilities across the full value chain of oil and gas activities—from upstream to midstream to downstream. When it comes to delivering digital solutions, we can connect entire enterprises, breaking down silos and delivering intelligence across every piece of the value chain.