MUSCAT: Occidental Oman (Oxy) on Wednesday signed two agreements with an equal number of firms as part of its SME development programme.

The first agreement was signed with Drilformance, a company that manufactures drill bits. Ali al Yahaai, the company’s owner said he was grateful for the support Oxy is providing to his company.

This includes hiring an engineer, supplying materials, training and help with marketing and logistics. All of the company’s 12 staffers are Omanis. “We can prove to the world that if you give them the training and believe in them, Omanis can do it,” he said.

The second agreement was signed with United National Oilfield Services (UNOS). Sultan al Busaidi, its owner said that among the things Oxy was offering were training, maintaining its website and support in attaining proper certification. “We’d really like to thank Oxy for the support rendered to UNOS,” he said.

H E Salim al Aufi, Undersecretary in the Ministry of Oil and Gas (MOG) who was present on the occasion said, “Oxy has given real and needed support. It has given [SMEs] technical training so that they can compete. We wish [the SMEs] success,” he said.

Hussam al Nabhani, vice president of Corporate and External Affairs, Oxy said that the company developed its SME Development Program in May 2013 after directives from the government.

The company initially supported three SMEs in 2013 while this ceremony marks the second batch of beneficiaries. He said supporting SMEs was important for the company. “The ultimate aim is to gain more business and therefore create more jobs,