Director's Blog

September 2017

Fareed Abdulla

Dear Colleagues,

I hope that you and your families had a blessed and prosperous Eid Al Adha.

At this time, please join me in expressing condolences to those that have suffered due to the recent hurricanes in the United States and Caribbean and the earthquake in Mexico. In particular, many of our regional members have friends, family and colleagues in Texas that were severely affected by Hurricane Harvey. On behalf of the SPE MENA Region, I wish a speedy recovery to everyone that experienced losses during these disasters.

In my last blog, I welcomed the new graduates joining SPE and reaffirmed our continuing support in the transition to their future careers. In our future, their fresh talent, energy and creativity will help capitalise on the changes in our industry as we enter an exciting new era that is being called the “Fourth Industrial Revolution” or “Industry 4.0”. 

Industry 4.0 is a game-changer. In simplest terms, it is the “cyber-physical” automation of physical processes and data exchange made possible by advances in areas such as cloud computing, big data, the internet of things, machine learning, artificial intelligence, visualisation, decentralised decision-making, robotics, and 3-D printing.
The obvious goal of a cyber-physical transformation in a business is to achieve the most efficient and cost-effective exploitation of available resources to meet a consumer need. Today, our industry depends primarily on non-renewable fossil fuels that are subject to ever increasing environmental controls and the industry must also adjust to the economic realities of lower oil prices and decreasing renewable energy costs. The most successful oil and gas companies of the future will be “leaner and greener” than their competition.

As the world’s population and the demand for improved living standards grow, the increasing need for energy will be satisfied by whichever sources and companies that can cost-effectively meet this demand in an environmentally responsible manner. Companies that do not embrace the new industrial revolution to meet those challenges risk failure just like many companies that were unable to adapt to previous technology disruptions.

History has shown that the leading companies in our industry have time and again developed and adopted new technologies to overcome unforeseen challenges and I am confident that SPE members will continue to be the innovators that drive future successes and breakthroughs. I encourage members to further explore the remarkable potential of Industry 4.0 to discover new opportunities to advance your company and career goals. 

You will certainly hear much more about Industry 4.0 in the coming months, and you can be confident that SPE will be there to keep members informed of the latest technologies and developments that will transform our industry in this new era.

Khalid A. Zainalabedin
SPE Regional Director
Middle East and North Africa