Graham Berry joins HFI Consulting, focuses on Middle East

23 October 2017 5 min. read
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Graham Berry has joined HFI Consulting to help the firm develop focused oil and gas strategies for Middle Eastern clients. The region is undergoing a period of diversification currently, with many GCC economies keen to strengthen their economy beyond the provision of fossil fuels.
In the year of its relaunch, HFI Consulting International has been growing both its team and reputation, as it seeks to make a major impact on the consulting market of the Middle East. Now, the business expansion specialists have appointed a new consultant, to help its clients in the energy and water sectors respond to unprecedented growth opportunities in Saudi Arabia. The move follows the key appointment to the firm’s
legal management team in the Summer, which saw Malcolm Kelly join the team as a senior legal consultant from global engineers Weir Group, while HFI’s founder, Hugh Fraser, a lawyer and Middle East business expert, was inducted into the GlobalScot initiative set up by the Scottish government to help the nation’s firms break international markets.

As the team expands further, Graham Berry, who has more than 35 years’ experience in the oil, gas and engineering sectors in the USA, Middle East and Far East, will work across HFI services but will have specific focus on its Saudi Arabian Ventures Initiative (SAVI). Saudi Arabia is emerging as a key market within the Middle East, thanks to a raft of government-led investments and initiatives aimed at diversifying the country’s economy and reducing dependence on oil and gas – industries which have been hit by low commodity pricing as of late. As part of this diversification strategy, SAVI is aimed at filling a growing demand from companies considering investing in Saudi Arabia, but need assistance to develop highly-focused strategies to establish new ventures or re-orientate existing operations in the Kingdom. SAVI has subsequently brought on board HFI’s legal and bridgehead energy consultancies to assist with this process.

Graham Berry joins HFI Consulting

Berry, latterly with Houston-based Superior Energy Services, where he became a Director for Middle East and Asia Pacific operations, and was tasked with setting up and running Wild Well Control in the Middle East, has over 35 years’ experience in the oil and gas services and engineering sectors. He specialises in the provision of market analysis, local partner vetting and selection, NOC vendor registration support and business development for companies wishing to enter the drilling equipment and services sector in the MENA, Africa and Asia Pacific regions. His experience in delivering successful internationalisation projects will also be critical in delivering HFI’s International Local Partner Agreement (ILPA) initiative, which uses the firm’s strategic, commercial, legal and diplomatic skills to match energy technology companies with the right local partner and the appropriate commercial arrangements.


Commenting on the challenges of his new role, Berry said, “There are four key themes of opportunity in Saudi Arabia that make growth in that region a very attractive prospect – a US$30 billion a year investment programme by national oil company Aramco; an investment of up to US$50 billion for nuclear and renewables, a significant water investment programme and the overall drive to diversify the nation’s economy through the 2030 Economic Vision National Transformation Plan… Together these will result in a significant number of new opportunities, particularly for joint ventures. If you want to expand into the region in the next six to 12 months then Saudi Arabia is by far the biggest market. Most companies find that if they can internationalise in this region, they can repeat that successful journey elsewhere.”

Hugh Fraser, Founder and Managing Partner of HFI, added, “Graham’s in-country experience will be key for our clients. MENA and the Gulf Co-operative Council (GCC) offers an incredible amount of potential for drilling and production engineering and services companies.”

Saudi Arabia accounts for almost half of the GCC consulting market, and is worth around $1.25 billion. Spending on consultants in the Kingdom is carried largely by the public sector – many of the country’s range of economic reform and diversification programmes, including a shift away from oil reliance and a massive investment agenda, which presents a major opportunity for international consultancies. HFI are heavily focused on Saudi Arabia because it is the biggest market in the region – with the planned diversification promising further growth in the future. HFI are currently involved in assisting their clients in doing business with Saudi Aramco and the new initiatives it is promoting – including the In-Kingdom Total Value Add (IKTVA) programme. IKTVA is aimed at reducing the country’s reliance on oil revenue while creating high-quality skilled jobs for Saudis – a move which means that international suppliers must employ more local people and increase local spending.