It is always special to reconnect with you after the Ramadan and Eid festivities. These are special times in our region, and I hope that you were able to spend them with your loved ones. I would like to take this opportunity to talk to you about a topic dear to my heart, technology.
New technologies and innovations in fields such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, automation, data analytics, Internet of Things, drones, and robotics are rapidly being utilised within our industry. Cutting operational costs is one of the main drivers for this shift. This was emphasised after the oil price crisis of 2014. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), it is expected that technology could decrease operational costs between 10% to 20%. In addition, technology enhancements in modelling, fluid tracking, remote production control, and advanced seismic analysis are expected to boost global hydrocarbon input by 5% mainly from unconventional resources. On the climate change front, global oil and gas companies including Saudi Aramco, Shell, and BP have pledged to invest $1 billion to develop and speed-up the deployment of low-emission technologies over the next 10 years as reported in the Wall Street Journal. We are going through exciting times for our industry and SPE as always will support its members in leading the way in fully exploiting the amazing opportunities offered by this fourth industrial revolution (IR 4.0). I encourage our members to take full advantage of the workshops and sessions offered by the society such as the upcoming SPE Workshop: Industry 4.0 in the Oil and Gas Value Chain, held in UAE this September, amplifying the fifth SPE core value: stewardship towards the long-term.
The announcement of the Regional and International Award Programmes winners is in mid-July. So as we close out this year’s cycle, next year’s cycle is about to start. The window of the award nominations will be open for everyone to have the chance to participate starting from September through February. I encourage everyone to strive to be one of the global or regional awards winners in their respective discipline. In addition to the technical awards for each discipline such as drilling, completions, reservoir evaluation production, and HSE SPE have introduced a new award to recognise the Distinguished Public Service member among the existing awards at both regional and international levels. At the international level, we expect the trend of award winners from our region to continue going up. As shown by SPE records, there was a 50% increase in the number of winners between 2016 and 2017. Number of awardees held steady in 2018. With the collection of talent and experience within our region, we are very optimistic that numbers will keep growing in the following years.
In closing, I would like to reiterate my sincere appreciation for your continuous support and participation in SPE.
Faisal N. Al-Nughaimish
SPE Regional Director
Middle East and North Africa