Playing an important role in the energy transition
It feels like yesterday when I took over the post as SPE MENA Regional Director in September 2019, time flies. Unfortunately, it wasn’t a good start; COVID-19 had a catastrophic impact on our industry – starting in 2020 leading oil prices to tumble and the lockdown restricting travel to combat the pandemic crippled the global economy. Staying home and remote working was the new norm. Now, thank God, the pandemic is behind us, and oil prices are close to $100/Bbl. SPE suffered from declining revenues due to the suspension of conferences and in-person events which are the main source of our income. SPE, however, managed to adapt to the new norm and switched many of our programs and activities to digital media and online/hybrid events. Despite the extreme challenges, we stayed connected and managed to sustain the minimum level of our programs. SPE is back and in-person events are filling our events calendar once again. This shows how resilient we are as a society thanks to the hard work and firm commitment of our faithful members and SPE staff.
Nobody has a crystal ball to predict the future, but I feel confident that our oil and gas industry will maintain its current position as a reliable and affordable energy supplier to a growing global economy. While transitioning to cleaner and lower carbon energies, we will not be competing but complementing different types of renewable energies like Solar, Wind, Hydrogen, etc. This will require adequate investments to sustain the current oil and gas fields flowing, as well as build spare capacity through facilities expansions/debottlenecking and exploration programs. Furthermore, we need to clearly demonstrate our commitment to lower carbon footprint through improved efficiency in all of our value chain activities and the deployment of the right technologies and new workflows to help us identify and eliminate the source of carbon emissions in our operations. All of this will require adequate expertise and talents to support field development and operations.
SPE can play an important role in facilitating the development of these talents through the sharing of information and best practices.
I encourage you and especially the young professionals to actively engage in SPE activities – it is a great investment in your careers. I owe it largely to SPE with my successful career in my previous work at ADNOC. SPE is a great platform to network with oil and gas professionals across various sectors of our industry, you will be updated with the latest trends and technologies, as well as acquire various networking, communication, and soft skills required in your day-to-day job. In addition, the SPE website and mobile applications contain rich resources of data including peer-reviewed technical papers, journals, event calendar, video content, discussion platforms, and many other useful materials. Following are a few examples of events happening this year and next year, that I encourage you to share and participate in:
- SPE ATCE
- SPE Symposium: Leveraging Artificial Intelligence to Shape the Future of the Energy Industry
- SPE Reservoir Characterisation and Simulation
- International Petroleum Technology Conference (IPTC)
- Middle East Oil, Gas and Geosciences Show (MEOS GEO)
As many of you know by now, the election for three SPE Board positions are in progress. There are six candidates running; three nominated by the board and three alternate candidates by petition. All SPE members have received an email encouraging you to vote and in case you have not yet done, I urge you to do so now. (Opens in new window)
This is my last blog as MENA Regional Director – I enjoyed serving you and I wish the current Director, Hisham Zubari, and incoming Director, Mohamed Al Marzouqi, all the best and success. I will stay engaged as an SPE member and hope to see you at various events in near future.
Qasem Al Kayoumi
MENA Regional Director