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Nobel Energy: reckoning on people and innovation


This article was originally posted on IMPACT magazine, issued by American Chamber of Commerce in Azerbaijan. 

Diversification and integration

To streamline its increasingly diversified services, Nobel Energy, jointly with McKinsey & Company, reassessed the Group’s organizational capabilities, strategic goals, markets and opportunities for growth both regionally and globally. For sustained, profitable growth, and innovative ways of working, Nobel Energy has counted on its diverse business lines: Integrated Services (oilfield operations and equipment maintenance, electrical and Instrumentation; EPC & CPM (EPC, construction, project management, fabrication), Drilling Services (integrated drilling and well services), and PSCM (integrated supply chain management, warehouse management and procurement). To leverage the most of international experience, resources, and innovation opportunities, Nobel Energy has also established JV partnerships with renowned EPC and CPM companies such as Wood, Enermech.

From the outset of the operations, Nobel Energy has pursued one strategic goal: increase its capacity and competencies to create more value for all key stakeholders. So, starting from 2005, when the business was established, the company has continuously invested in people - Nobel Energy Group’s most relied on asset. The Group has put in concentrated and systematic effort on people and technology by attracting the best available talent, maximizing the skills of its workforce, and developing strong infrastructure. Nobel Energy’s integrated services business model has allowed the Group to optimize end-to-end service delivery, and provide effective and efficient solutions to customers.

Continuous improvement

Nobel Energy’s thirst for unremitting growth never stopped. Glensol, its Integrated Services subsidiary, joined a bpdesigned and sponsored Enterprise Development Program, aimed at developing capability of local companies. This intensive development program had allowed Glensol to increase their competitiveness in the marketplace and employ with necessary skills to operate to international standards. As one of the immediate outcomes of the program, Glensol had moved forward to meet the requirements of leading international original equipment manufacturers (OEM) on equipment maintenance. Following these developments, Solar Turbines, a Caterpillar company, and the world’s most widely used family of midsized industrial gas turbines, had offered Glensol to represent the OEM in the local market. This partnership had made Glensol the only local expertise to provide overhaul, as well as field maintenance for industrial gas turbines, ranging from 1 to 23 megawatts. In addition to brining the world-class expertise to the country, Glensol’s move has hugely helped clients, including an energy giant like bp, to reduce their operational costs while maintaining the same, high-level service quality.

Justified trust

In quest of a reliable service provider to help reduce the downtime and ensure long-term viability of technological processes and integrity of their facilities, bp had chosen to trust its strategic assets to Glensol - a wide-ranging electrical and instrumentation, as well as electrical motor repair services. On this bid Glensol competed with some big service providers having years of domination in the oil and gas domain. Remarkably, this agreement with bp marked an important milestone for Azerbaijan - Glensol, as Solar Turbine’s local representative, optimized the highly expensive services for turbomachinery by bringing the world-known manufacturers’ expertise to the country.

For the same reason, SOCAR, another big energy player, has trusted Glensol a technically challenging scope for the provision of the services for over 20 gas turbine engine driven compressors of Azneft - one of their biggest production units.

Unique infrastructure

Glensol has provided Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI) services as part of its ‘One Stop Shop’ philosophy, which allows to serve the entire fleet of mechanical and electrical equipment of both SOCAR and bp.

Located in Glensol’s unique workshop, the VMI services include supply, storage and maintenance of client’s inventory. Some benefits of VMI include, but not limited to easy and instant access for the clients to all the equipment, including their highly accurate technical specification, proper racking labelling, and database allowing instant location identification and dispatch to end-user; international standard racking system with load test certification and annual checks, and timely inspection of parts by company’s API/ASME-certified technicians.

Doing it responsibly

For Nobel Energy, from the onset of the business, doing business ethically and according to international standards - which meant more thoughtful decision-making processes across the entire value chain - have mattered more than the pace of business growth.

The Group has designed its corporate documents in accordance with the UK and Azerbaijani laws, as well as the best global practices in the rules of business ethics and conduct that define how employees should act in the event of a conflict of interest, establish zero tolerance of corruption, envisage equal opportunities for all employees, prohibit discrimination, and establish a mechanism for monitoring the enforcement of corporate ethical standards.

To create an effective anti-corruption system, Nobel Energy has developed the guidelines based on the most recognized legal acts, such as United Nations Convention against Corruption, 2003, Anti-Bribery Act in the United Kingdom, 2010, and Corruption Abroad Act of the USA, 1977 - Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977 of the USA.

Most recently, Nobel Energy has successfully renewed its ‘Anti-bribery management systems’ certificate (ISO 37001) by LRQA - Lloyd’s Register’s Business Assurance and Inspection Services division - a leading global assurance provider. On top of adopting business code of ethics, for Nobel Energy, doing business responsibly also means following a workplace health and safety programs, and committing to protecting the environment where we operate, and deliver services according to the recognized industry standards. To ensure this, SOCAR AQS, Nobel Energy’s integrated drilling and well services subsidiary has recently got recertified for compliance with ISO 9001:2015, ISO 14001:2015 and ISO 45001:2018, and passed API Spec Q2 2nd edition - one of the most demanding audits of the industry.

International recognition

As Nobel Energy evolved, its productivity and efficiency of its services increased, and the company kept grabbing the attention of clients. This was forerun by KPO, Kazakhstan’s giant energy company, who relied the overhauls services of their 6 MW motors to Glensol. This was achieved as the result of a highly competitive tender, with the participation of local and international service providers.

Glensol has been awarded a contract, also in Kazakhstan, to provide turbomachinery services of internationally recognized original equipment manufacturers.

Undoubtedly, Nobel Energy’s one of the significant international achievements was entering to Türkiye’s highly competitive construction sector, when Prokon, the Group’s engineering, project management and construction company landed a strategic repair and brownfield modifications contract. The deal has sealed Prokon Türkiye as an approved contractor of Turkish industrial giant Tüpraş.

Prokon is immensely proud to be an Azerbaijani company to export Nobel Energy’s proven expertise and experience in the domain to Türkiye - one of the biggest construction services providers across the world.

Last year, Tüpraş trusted a new and even more challenging contract - one of their most critical packages on maintenance and repair works of furnaces - to Prokon, approving it as a reliable solution partner.

To gain access to new markets and talent pools, and most importantly, to fuel the future growth, Nobel Energy is working to broaden its presence according to the Group’s geographical expansion strategy.

Exporting human capital

2022 was also remarkable with another milestone, when Glensol established a new service line to provide trainings to overseas engineers and technicians. The first program, conducted at Glensol’s world-class workshop, had seen the comprehensive training of the technicians of Basra Energy Company (BECL), the main contractor at the Rumaila oilfield in Iraq, the third largest field in the world.

The trainings to Iraqi technical professionals covered some critical industry subjects, such as mechanical rotating equipment, electrical equipment, mechanical static equipment and control system and field devices. This was a significant milestone for Nobel Energy, as the Group’s most relied on asset - highly qualified team of engineers and technical specialists - was set to provide a new and challenging service, and more importantly export the technical trainings of a very high international standard from Azerbaijan to the world. Going forward, as part of its ‘providing human capital of the world-class level to overseas’ philosophy, Nobel Energy is planning to assign its expertise to share their tested knowledge and experience across the globe.

Unfolding clean energy

When Nobel Energy set out a new strategy in 2021, the company pledged to transform from an Oil and Gas Services company to an Integrated Energy Production, Development and Services company, focused on delivering agile, efficient and sustainable solutions for customers.

As part of the transformation strategy, Nobel Energy, is on its way to building innovative and sustainable energy business by 2030, with the goal to achieve 5 GW of installed combined thermal and renewable energy generation capacities.

To that end, Nobel Energy has started to work on a solar power station for Norm Cement plant with 30 MW of installed capacity, the first of its planned series of renewable energy projects in Azerbaijan. As part of the project, by producing solar energy, Nobel Energy is going to meet 53 GW/h of the plant’s overall yearly energy consumption, during the 25 years of operational period. Additionally, this project will help save 25,000 tons/year of carbon emission, and avoid using 14,000,000 m3 of natural gas a year.

Going forward, Nobel Energy is intending to increase its sustainable energy footprint by bringing in carbon capture technologies into the Group’s portfolio. This will allow Nobel Energy to support big energy players decarbonization targets in energy production that include industrial facilities, fossil fuel power plants, CO2 pipeline infrastructure, refineries, chemical plants, and other utilization and storage options.

Through its integrated EPC services and technologies, Nobel Energy will help clients control costs with energyefficient processes to remove CO2 and help mitigate the environmental impact of greenhouse gas emissions. Advancing in affordability and scale, the process of carbon capture will ensure efficient system integration in applications where it can use existing energy infrastructure for transport and storage.