Simple steps can be powerful in the race to reduce our carbon

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Sherif Foda, CEO of NESR - National Energy Services Reunited - discusses his company’s strategy and outlook amid a shifting energy marketplace.

How is NESR focusing on the energy transition and helping the industry advance clean energy solutions?

Energy transition has been a NESR focus from company inception, and we officially launched the ESG Impact Segment during FII in 2021 to address three main decarbonisation areas: water, emissions, and flare/heat capture to deliver both sustainability and economic value to O&G operations. All three technical areas represent low hanging fruit that the industry should capitalise on to lower the greenhouse gas (GHG) intensity and carbon footprint of our operations. We continue to focus on water (and by extension salt and mineral recovery) as a main target for both recycling massive, produced water waste and also disposing of this hazardous waste in a more responsible manner. We are thrilled to advance our water technology with key flagship projects in Saudi Arabia and Iraq, and look forward to bringing this technology to the UAE, Oman, and other key countries in North Africa.

What are the opportunities for the industry brought about by decarbonisation of the energy sector?

Considering the entire footprint of oil and gas - around 5.1 Gt per year - we estimate that the industry can significantly reduce this carbon intensity by eliminating flaring and recycling its water waste; zero flaring alone could eliminate the majority of industry methane emissions, specifically. These two focal areas of waste recovery could furthermore deliver real value to the industry in the form of carbon offsets, and from a practicality standpoint represent relatively simple and straightforward improvements that are measurable and reportable, compared to more complex technological and economical endeavours in the broader energy transition.

Could you elaborate more on your ESG impact initiatives?

In the crucial area of water recycling, we frame the “10% MENA Opportunity” as follows: What if we, as an industry, commit to deploying cutting-edge desalination technologies, powered by flare gas and renewable energy sources, to recycle just 10% of the produced reservoir water generated across upstream operations just in the MENA region? Not only could we offset the industry’s entire freshwater consumption demand, but we could also eliminate flaring and GHG emissions equivalent to the annual output of 5% of all MENA passenger vehicles, and could furthermore recover enough salt to supply up to 5% of the global NaCl market. These are massive decarbonisation impacts for our industry that further provide crucial resources to the broader oil and gas value chain and also to other industries such as agriculture, pharmaceuticals, and the chemical industry. To accomplish the above, NESR is investing in cutting-edge technologies, often taking a ‘venture capital’-type position in promising startups, and deploying these technologies as leaders in the MENA region.

Taking place ahead of COP28, how critical is the role of ADIPEC in accelerating collective industry action to decarbonise faster together and drive investments into the clean energies of the future?

ADIPEC is absolutely crucial and spot on before the pivotal COP28 event. The industry should make a mark and take bold actions to make a difference. There is no better venue for back-to-back ADIPEC and COP28 events to highlight to the world the potential for the oil and gas industry to contribute to global decarbonisation. Furthermore, there is no better advocate for our industry, and for a sensible and pragmatic approach to a “just energy transition” than Dr. Sultan, who is among the most distinguished and elegant proponents of energy industry-led decarbonisation.

How important is it for NESR to be at ADIPEC as an exhibitor, and what are you particularly looking forward to this year?

We are very proud to be a central exhibitor at ADIPEC, and this year is particularly powerful given the anniversary of the formation of NESR and also the critical COP28 event forthcoming in the UAE. We are excited to display the latest success of our drilling portfolio, and we look forward to meeting and interacting with our esteemed clients to showcase all the case studies and technological learnings between countries and fields.


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