Simon Naylor
Group President Americas
Amec Foster Wheeler
View from the Top

Delivering Projects across the Oil and Gas Value Chain

Wed, 01/21/2015 - 14:19

Q: What complementarities between Amec and Foster Wheeler make this a compelling combination?

A: It proved to be a compelling combination as Amec is predominantly focused on offshore engineering project management, while Foster Wheeler focuses primarily on downstream activities and is now moving into the midstream segment. By coming together, we have acquired the capabilities to deliver projects right across the production system all the way to refined chemicals. This was the key interest, as we saw increasing customer demand for more integrated activities across the oil and gas chain. A secondary reason was to expand our scope, because we believe that scale matters wherever we are in the world. Bringing together 40,000 people allows us to provide expertise and knowledge to our customers no matter where they are. The combination works well, despite the fact that both companies have a slightly different customer base. Amec works primarily with international companies, while Foster Wheeler has a different variety of clients. Another relevant aspect is that technology will be increasingly important in the future, and Foster Wheeler is a leading institution in this sector. Our clients on both sides should expect the same services as they received before, but they should also anticipate more opportunities for us to apply a greater breadth of skills while maintaining the exact same focus on excellence and customer satisfaction. Even though the company has a new name, our values and heritage are the same. We make sure that the highest safety standards are met, that we operate with high integrity, and that we deliver on our promises. Beyond this, our intent is to provide technical and project excellence. We know we have set high expectations and we will deliver on them.

Q: Historically, neither company has had a strong presence in Mexico, so what role will Mexico play in your Americas strategy and in the bigger picture?

A: We believe that this association places us in the top echelon of consultancy, engineering, project management, operations and construction services, and project delivery companies, which is where we want to compete. We also want to compete in delivering total projects while helping our customers in this area. The Americas have been very strong for both of these segments. With Foster Wheeler, we will have approximately 47% market share in the Americas, but we are still seeking to grow that. Evidently, within the region, Mexico is a significant prospect for growth with a wealth of opportunities. We are anticipating huge growth and we need to manage that accordingly, because large growth implies serious risks.

Q: How will you deal with the challenge of obtaining the right human capital fast enough while connecting it with your international expertise and best practices?

A: With respect to human resources, our absolute intent is to make the local human capital an integral part of our global network. A lot is already being done. PEMEX’s refining projects are a great example of that since four Foster Wheeler offices have been involved in delivering the needed expertise for these projects. This is an example of how we will integrate our capabilities and areas of expertise. To be successful, we need to bring in our expertise at the optimum price. To do that in Mexico will mean a lot of networking but also growing our employee base and local expertise. The way to find the right people is to provide the right opportunities, which is precisely what we intend to do. A few years ago, AMEC studied the reasons that drove people to work for us. The most important aspects were how they felt in the environment they worked in, the type of exciting projects they were part of, the clients they worked with, and, most importantly, career development opportunities. Based on this, we opened an academy that has already trained 20,000 people.

Q: In what segment of the oil and gas industry do you see the greatest opportunities in the near future?

A: We are a diversified company, but over 55-60% of our business comes from the oil and gas industry, which represents our core business. When the mining and electricity markets pick up, we may well venture there, but we will need more time to do so. Given our success with refineries, I imagine that we will see operations continuing in that aspect, while the upstream sector will play an increasingly important role in our portfolio over time. One of our founding principles is to become a trusted longterm partner for our customers; something which I hope they all say about AMEC Foster Wheeler.