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Rawabi-Vallianz seeks market expansion beyond Middle East

Rawabi-Vallianz seeks market expansion beyond Middle East
Rawabi-Vallianz, a joint venture OSV provider, is exploring opportunities to expand beyond its core operations in the Middle East, as it looks to countries like Egypt and Mexico, according to Abdulaziz Ali AlTurki, group chairman of Rawabi Holding.

The 50-50 joint venture firm currently owns and operates 22 OSVs including AHTS vessels and PSVs, and the market expansion of the company could see more vessels added to the fleet.

“We are definitely looking at expansion, and the idea of the joint venture is not limited to the Middle East,” Abdulaziz told Seatrade Global. He added that the Mexican government has expressed interest in the company’s activities and Eygpt holds vast business potential.

“We are exploring various markets depending on their demand. Today we have 22 vessels and in the future we may have 70 or more. We are a dynamic company with the right management to explore a lot of opportunities for the joint venture,” Abdulaziz said.

The fleet of modern OSVs is currently on contract to one of the biggest state-owned oil firms companies in the Middle East. Rawabi-Vallianz is the second largest provider of AHTS vessels to the oil firm, according to Abdulaziz, who declined to name its client.

Saudi Arabian oil and gas services firm Rawabi Holding owns 20% stake in Singapore-based OSV provider Vallianz, making it the second largest shareholder of Vallianz after Swiber, which owns 27%. Approximately 70% of Vallianz’s revenue is derived from the Rawabi-Vallianz joint venture operations, according to Ling Yong Wah, ceo of Vallianz.

Meanwhile, despite the fall in oil prices, Abdulaziz maintained that the joint venture’s OSV operations have not been seriously impacted. Charter rates for the OSVs working in the Middle East shallow water have not decreased, and vessel utilisation is at 90-98%, he added.

The fall in oil prices over the last six months has impacted the offshore oil and gas market in terms of oil majors cutting back on E&P expenditures and lower charter rates for oil rigs and OSVs, industry players said. The impact on shallow water oil and gas field development and production operations, where Rawabi-Vallianz mostly works in, has been smaller compared to deepwater activities and projects in the exploration stage.

Looking ahead, crude oil prices are forecast at $70-80 per barrel by the end of this year, rising from less than $60 per barrel today, Abdulaziz cited projections made by analysts.