PESA’s Middle East Chapter led by Chapter Chair, Ed Whitnell, NOV Rig Technologies, held a webinar discussing the future of the oil and gas industry from two perspectives: how COVID-19 will continue to disrupt demand globally and increased digitalization of the industry. Olivier Barles, International SOS, Faisal Iqbal and Osama Hanna, Microsoft, each shared insight during the event hosted by the chapter’s Human Resources Committee and its chair Riaz Jumabhoy, Gardner Denver.CORONAVIRUS DISCUSSION
Dr. Barles discussed progress toward a COVID-19 vaccine, which he believes is the best way to manage the disease since no drug currently available is a cure. He said it’s unlikely a vaccine will be ready before spring and anything before that will not have been completely vetted.
He also dismissed myths about the virus. He confirmed that the virus has not mutated, and that herd immunity can be achieved only if 60-65% of population contract COVID-19. Getting to that level would result in many preventable and unnecessary fatalities.
Exploring how different countries in the Middle East region are handling travel, lockdowns and reopening, Dr. Barles emphasized the need for people and companies to truly evaluate the need to travel. He said travel is complex because no countries have the same screening process or rules.
Shifting to the digital transformation underway, Iqbal said Microsoft is focused on “creating for the future” through four sections of the digital feedback loop: engaging customers, empowering employees, transforming products and optimizing operations. For OFS companies looking to secure contracts with NOCs, he asked them to consider a couple key questions:
- “How are you going to be the partner that enables digital solutions for your customer?”
- “How do you infuse intelligence in your processes?”
He said that OFS companies need to “…predict what their customers are going to want them to do,” and from there develop a value proposition that showcases the former.
Hanna’s portion of the presentation focused on Microsoft’s inventory control and supply chain visibility. Specifically, he presented a case study on challenges to supplying a drilling operation. He described how they tackled the issue of an inaccurate manual stock count of materials. Hanna showed an example of drone technology being used to scan content in existing warehouses. Overall, he said, Microsoft’s customers are looking for outcomes that include reducing cost, mitigating risks and reimagining the process.
If you are interested in learning more about or joining PESA’s Middle East Chapter and its committees, please reach out to VP Strategy & Programs, Molly Determan.