MOSCOW (Sputnik) – US energy services giant Baker Hughes is interested in expanding its presence in the Russian market despite the regime of sanctions between the US and Russia, Elena Akoltseva, the president at Baker Hughes in Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), told Sputnik in an interview.
“Our full-stream technology portfolio and expertise, local assets, relationships and experience in Russia make us well-positioned to partner with key operators for any new and potential oil & gas projects in Eastern Siberia, the Far East, and on the Baltic and Caspian seas. We are interested in strategic projects, subject to compliance with Russian, EU and US regulations”, Akoltseva said.
Baker Hughes has provided support to such landmark energy projects in Russia as the Sakhalin-1 and Sakhalin-2 projects, as well as the prominent liquefied natural gas (LNG) ventures, the Yamal LNG and Arctic LNG 2, according to the executive.
Even in circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic, the company continued to provide solutions for the projects in Russia.
“We met a key equipment testing milestone with the first engine to test (FETT) for our LM9000 turbine for the Arctic LNG 2 project, leveraging turbomachinery remote testing capabilities which allowed customer in Russia to follow each phase of the testing that was happening in our sites in Italy. In Sakhalin we delivered the first remotely supported liner hanger install, marking the longest floated liner installation in Russia”, Akoltseva underlined.
The energy services company is also interested in expanding its partnerships in other CIS oil and gas producers, such as Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan, the regional president noted.
“We are confident that our strong partnerships with leading national and global production companies in the Caspian region, our operational track record on key projects as well as our strong focus on human capital development in each country is the baseline for Baker Hughes to remain a strategic partner for Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan,” Akoltseva said.
Baker Hughes’ history spans more than a century. The company now operates in more than 120 countries.
Artificial Intelligence Changing the Industry
Akoltseva also addressed the growing use of artificial intelligence (AI) technologies in the energy sector, noting it could significantly reduce personnel employed in the drilling of rigs.
“Yes, we are seeing greater interest in AI technology from our customers who are focusing on digital transformation and the energy transition … In July, we executed our first fully remote drilling operation in Russia without Baker Hughes personnel on the rig. Globally, over 70 percent of our drilling operations already utilise remote capabilities”.
“Additionally, we see a possible 60 percent reduction in personnel at rig sites thanks to digital enablement and automation, with greater use of multi-skilled field technicians providing customer support at the rig”, Akoltseva added.
The executive pointed to an innovative remote operations centre in Russia’s city of Tyumen, opened by Baker Hughes in 2014, which helps the company drill wells with remote assistance.
Baker Hughes CEO Lorenzo Simonelli has said that AI “is going to change the energy landscape and the way our organisations look”. The US giant has formed an alliance called BHC3 with the C3.ai software company and Microsoft in order to provide AI solutions for the energy industry on Microsoft Azure, a leading cloud computing platform.