Dow to target refining boom in the region

Ryan-Larry-1Larry Ryan, business director of Dow's oil and gas division, believes that refining and gas processing will become one of the two main areas of growth in the Middle East

Oil Review Middle East sat down with Larry Ryan, business director for Dow Oil and Gas, and Antoine Samaha, commercial director for Dow Oil and Gas in the Middle East and Africa, to hear about the latest trends in the oil and gas industry and the target markets for The Dow Chemical Company's oil and gas division.

Ryan, who joined Dow from Halliburton in 2011 with more than 20 years industry experience, said Dow's oil and gas division was doing well and that it was on a good growth path, adding that he expected the company's growth in the Middle East to be very strong.

Dow has plans for expanding its involvement in the MENA region and Ryan said he believed that refining and gas processing would be the two main areas of growth. In response, the US-based company said it planned to specifically target both areas in its upcoming expansion drive, which is designed to bring new technologies and solutions to the region.

"The refining industry, with a focus on gas treating, is very important to Dow and to our business. In fact, we have more than 200 years of combined experience in this arena," Ryan stated.

The Amine Management Programme is Dow’s full-service offering aimed at maximising efficiencies in the gas treating process. As part of this programme, a team of Dow experts works to understand a site’s specific needs, simulates on-site conditions through a proprietary simulation tool, delivers tailored recommendations to meet the site’s requirements and periodically checks in to help ensure consistent results.

In Ryan’s view, one of the major global upstream industry trends is the expansion of deep water exploration, resulting in deeper offshore wells and therefore higher temperature, higher pressure environments. Temperature variations, caused by high temperature extraction processes in very cold subsea environments, make it necessary to have effective insulation for the piping.

In response, Dow launched the Neptune Advanced Subsea Flow Assurance Insulation System, which "is specifically designed to capture that piece of the market for higher temperature and more demanding applications". Neptune’s uniqueness stems from a proprietary polymer technology developed by Dow, which differentiates it from other materials in the market, the company said. 

The company launched the system this year after a Dow-led multi-million-dollar and multi-year R&D effort, and is in the process of qualifying the material. According to Ryan, Dow has been receiving excellent feedback on the trials and tests conducted to date, and it is now ready for launch in the marketplace.

Regional focus

According to Samaha, Dow's primary focus across the MENA region is Qatar, the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

"The UAE is an important market for us and we have won several significant projects in Abu Dhabi. We are also expanding into North Africa and in addition to getting good traction in Libya we are targeting Algeria having recently opened an office there," Samaha, who joined Dow in 2010, explained.

In Libya, Dow started work late last year and has picked up opportunities there as the country looks for global expertise to help get its hydrocarbon industry back on track post-revolution.

Looking to the future, Dow is positioning itself to support the region’s expanding oil refining industry, specifically through its Amine Management Programme. The service programme aims to help plant managers maximise efficiencies and minimise costs associated with gas treating, to comply with environmental emissions regulations or upgrade refinery gas to feedstock grade.  

“We are very optimistic about the opportunities in the industry, particularly as countries are moving to develop their gas fields and downstream operations. There’s a great deal of demand for improved efficiencies in gas treating and refining and Dow’s chemistry fuels solutions in a real way,” Samaha concluded.

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