24 April

Sponsorship Article: The National Champion of MENA

The Journey

The company was established in 1989 by Saudi entrepreneurs as the 1st Saudi homegrown company venturing into complex and capital-intensive barrier services. In the following decades, the company expanded from a single segment offering to multiple segments in several countries.

In 2014, the company transformed from a family-owned company to an institutionally owned company and got Apicorp, Waha Capital and others to be part of the journey. Later in 2017, Olayan took a major stake in the company and via NESR vehicle, the company became the 1st Saudi company to list on the NASDAQ. That was an instrumental decision to unlock opportunities and attract international cutting-edge technologies to the Kingdom.

Today, NESR is the biggest national oilfield services company from the MENA region and one of the few major players in this sector of the oil & gas industry. NESR’s vision is aligned with Saudi Vision 2030, focusing on sustainability, localization and diversity.

Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) IMPACT is ……… ESG in Action

Since inception, NESR has prioritized positive impact on communities through economic empowerment and local value creation. In January 2021, we announced the creation of the ESG IMPACT segment, which will operate independently from the existing Production and Drilling & Evaluation Services segments.

“The ESG IMPACT segment will address key issues that are relevant to the communities in which we operate, such as water conservation and aquifer protection, and tackle larger global challenges like climate change mitigation, where we can make a significant impact as an industry. The Oil and Gas industry has long acted as a catalyst for global growth and has been a foundation upon which the global economy has been built over the last century. Going forward, we believe our industry can lead and address complex global challenges by adopting, adapting, improving the performance of our industry, and minimizing our collective environmental footprint through leveraging our tremendous research, engineering, and project management capabilities across the globe.”



NESR continues to be focused on improving its ESG performance and on delivering services in the most effective, efficient, and sustainable manner. We introduced innovative energy solutions captured within the NESR ESG IMPACT Triangle. The Climate Change mitigation product line will focus on the objective of establishing real-time monitoring of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from oilfield operations, including wellhead, gathering stations, and gas processing facilities. In addition, it will focus on flare gas treatment and its capture and transportation to the nearest power plant or gas gathering station.

“We are working very closely with Saudi Aramco to impact several projects including high salinity produced water treatment to freshwater quality with an objective of zero liquid discharge (ZLD). The fresh quality water can be used for multiple applications within the oilfield, e.g., smart water Enhanced Oil Recovery, crude washing to remove salt, reservoir pressure management, and drilling & completions to name a few. Such water can also be used for industrial and agricultural applications.”



The Water Conservation and Management product line will focus on delivering fresh water from produced water that is today either wasted or injected for reservoir pressure management or into disposal wells. Our objective is to provide field-based solutions that deliver fresh water from produced water as well as to deliver alternatives to traditional industry use of higher quality aquifer water for oilfield applications. We are currently working with Salttech SA, a water-treatment technology company based in the Netherlands, on developing several plants (25,000 to 100,000 bbl/day) to convert high salinity produced water into fresh water.

In the aquifer space, our focus is on providing water from previously unusable water resources due to high sulphate content in order to reduce industry reliance on high quality aquifers. We are evaluating potential plant and field capabilities with CleanTeQ, an Australian-based clean technology company that currently operates an antimony treatment plant in Oman.

In March 2021, NESR announced its participation in the initial investment round of an innovative geothermal technology company ICE. With this technology, we aim to support our customers to reduce their carbon footprint by capturing geothermal energy to generate electric power. In essence, thermal energy which was previously untapped and was being dissipated into the atmosphere will now be harnessed to replace existing energy sources.

Open Platform: A New Way of Investing in Research and Development

In 2020, NESR broke ground on NESR Oilfield Research and Innovation Center (NORI), which is designed as an open platform that will host international and local innovators to develop oilfield research and innovative technologies in Saudi Arabia. NORI will build local capabilities and provide employment opportunities in Saudi Arabia and facilitate collaboration with academic institutions, including King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals. The agreement to establish NORI was signed in September 2018 between NESR and Dhahran Techno Valley Company (DTVC) in alignment with Saudi Aramco’s IKTVA program to enhance NESR’s local content while also adding significant value to Dhahran Techno Valley and the Saudi oil and gas industry.

“NORI’s mandate is aligned with Saudi Vision 2030, which emphasizes the importance of strengthening the technology sector in general, and energy technologies in particular, in order to support the knowledge-based economy, and maximize the creation of startups. Once completed, NORI will develop fit-for-purpose techniques and technologies for Saudi Arabia and the whole region. Our plan is to bring our technical partners from North America and the rest of the world to NORI, which will allow them to customize and develop technologies in Saudi Arabia for the local industry.”



Generating Local Value Through IKTVA

“We pride ourselves on being the “National Champion” of the MENA region. Our focus on enhancing our contribution to the communities in which we operate includes hiring and developing local talent, manufacturing locally, increasing local procurement, investing in cutting-edge research and development, building a flagship manufacturing facility at King Salman Energy Park, and supporting the growth of small and medium enterprises in Saudi Arabia.”

We spent more than 3,100 hours developing and training local suppliers in 2019. Over the last three years we developed several of our local suppliers of chemicals and substituted exported chemicals with locally manufactured products. Our supplier development program includes improving warehouse facilities, systems, chemical technical efficiency, and engaging our labs and engineers in enhancing the local know-how of chemicals among our suppliers.

In addition, we developed a local frac chemical supplier and a chemical blending facility in Saudi Arabia to supply our unconventional fracturing jobs. We trained local staff to manage fluid quality assurance and delivery to field locations. We also introduced a new oil fracturing proppant supplier to the local market and facilitated communication and collaboration between suppliers and NESR’s researchers and engineers.

SPARK: Developing the Energy Infrastructure of the Kingdom

In 2018, NESR was one of the first companies to sign a land lease agreement with Aramco to build a state-of-the-art operating facility in King Salman Energy Park (SPARK). NESR is looking forward to relocating to the energy city, which will position Saudi Arabia as a global energy, industrial and technology hub.

NESR is aligned with SPARK’s localization goals within the Kingdom’s energy supply chain and the strategic goals of IKTVA and Saudi Vision 2030. The flagship operating facility will host all our product lines as well as that of our technical partners including manufacturing facilities.

Improving Frac Efficiency in Saudi Arabia

With the expansion of Saudi Aramco’s unconventional program, NESR was determined to enter the Saudi Frac market and become the premier Frac services company in Saudi Arabia (KSA). To accomplish this, we devised an approach focused on collaboration, technological adoption, and localization.


NESR’s Frac Journey started with an effective collaboration with our client to improve Frac operations’ efficiencies in KSA. We developed plans, adopted international best practices, utilized latest technologies, and incorporated lessons learned while adequately planning for the high summer temperatures of the Kingdom. We also partnered with a leading US Frac company, which gave us instant access to US unconventional experience and equipment. Through meticulous planning and seamless execution, we managed to deliver the highest stage count by a single fleet ever seen in the MENA region.


Our commitment to hiring and developing local talent not only aligns with our local content value creation targets but also enhances our operational resilience in the face of global disruptions. This became evident in our Frac operations.

We heavily invested in training Saudi talent in unconventional operations in the USA. Our Saudi crew learned to operate and maintain equipment in a fast-paced environment. To incentivize our crew, we implemented a unique bonus structure that rewarded performance. We also developed our relationships with key suppliers to improve available fluids, proppant logistics and other areas critical to our long-term success.

Our investments paid dividends when just 6 months later, a 100% Saudi crew completely ran our Saudi Frac operations, maintaining 100% capacity at all times, including during the absence of the US crew and at the height of lockdowns due to COVID-19.

Our success proved that in times of crisis, being a local company that develops local talent and invests in transferring knowledge and expertise to local populations is a competitive advantage.

Technological Adoption & Adaption

NESR implemented technologies and best practices that could readily be adopted from Frac operations in the USA and adapted them to the environment of KSA when necessary. Through improved equipment design, technology utilization to remove non-productive time, and careful planning to ensure performance even in high summer temperatures, we stopped at nothing in our pursuit of excellent performance.

Environmental Footprint Management

We have been a part of multiple collaborative efforts to drive home our commitment to sustainability. We partnered with plug providers to improve plug design, leading to reduction in water consumption for plug and perforation operations. Introducing a pump down O-ring around plugs improved efficiency and reduced the required rate and volume of water consumed. We estimate that plug upgrades introduced in 2020 will save an estimated 5 MM gallons of water per year. Through the effective design process our client has optimized, we were able to reduce our Frac fleet’s greenhouse gas emissions, cutting our carbon footprint by 30%, and reducing diesel consumption.

NESR has implemented several initiatives to manage the environmental footprint associated with our hydraulic fracturing operation such as:

1. Salt tolerant Fracturing Fluid System: NESR has developed a salt tolerant fracturing fluid system capable of formulating hydraulic fracturing fluids with produced water. This formulation is also able to use brackish and sea water with minimal to no treatment required, eliminating the need to source the fresh ground water. In addition, the use of produced water for hydraulic fracturing can eliminate/ reduce carbon footprint associated with the trucking/piping of produced water to disposal wells.

2. Chemical Loading: Loading chemicals in bulk tanks eliminated handling during Frac operations, reduced wastage and our environmental footprint and enhanced our logistics.

3. Auto Fueling System: NESR has deployed a closed auto fueling system to supply diesel to fuel large fleets of equipment simultaneously, thus eliminating spills, hazards towards fracturing crew, and overfill risk. The auto fueling system also improves efficiency through the reduction of nonproductive time.

4. Produced Water Treatment: NESR has partnered with a company that treats produced water. This allows us to provide our customers with specific and differentiated technical water treatment solutions, so they can achieve their production goals in an environmentally responsible manner.

5. Proactive Maintenance: Having spare units and moving planned maintenance off the critical path significantly reduced downtime between stages.

6. Modified Rigup: By optimizing rigup and utilizing LEAN principles, we saved time and limited physical exertion of crews in the heat.

We are proud of what we have accomplished in a single year. From introducing a major service line into a country, to delivering the highest stage count by a single fleet ever seen in MENA, executed by a 100% local crew, all done during a time of lockdowns and movement restrictions due to COVID-19. We are well on track to meet our goal of becoming MENA’s premier Frac services partner of choice.

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