Editor’s Letter: A change is as good as a rest

Yes, oil prices are picking up, but with a constantly changing landscape, now is not the time for the upstream sector to relax

Upstream, Magazine, Editor's letter, Opinion, Oil price

The oil and gas industry is many things, but it is not static.

This was demonstrated, to the dismay of oil and gas professionals, when oil prices came crashing down in 2014, leaving the industry bruised and battered. The aftermath has not been easy.

But the oil and gas sector is nothing if not resilient. In lean times, it met challenges with innovative solutions to cut costs and increase efficiency. Today, as oil prices rise, large discoveries are being made and technology improves, it is time to innovate for growth, not for survival.

We have charted that growth over the past year, and this month, our ninth annual Oil & Gas Middle East and Refining & Petrochemicals Middle East awards celebrates oil and gas achievers across 10 categories.

They are the people and companies that are changing our industry, whether that means new initiatives to address the talent gap, projects that exemplify the need for innovative oilfield services companies, or the young men and women who continue to strive for growth in this typically conservative industry.

 Mohammed Al-Ghazal, on the cover of this issue, is one young industry professional who is driving change by pushing for digitalisation and cybersecurity in upstream operations. The region’s oil and gas companies are steadily beginning to understand the need for younger, skilled professionals, and the need for digital technology in upstream operations.

As such, it’s an exciting time for me to take the helm of Oil & Gas Middle East, as the industry looks to a future that will be marked by change and growth; which is already evident in the impressive achievements of this year’s award winners and highly commended nominees.

Although the Middle East’s oil and gas sector has traditionally been hesitant to change, it was forced to do so during the downturn. Once again, whether or not it is eagerly embraced by oil and gas companies, change is coming. 

Natural gas is forecast to overtake oil as the world’s primary source of energy as soon as 2026, advanced technology brings with it a host of opportunities along with new security risks, and players across the board, including suppliers, will have to innovate to remain relevant in an evolving industry that is still finding its feet after the downturn.

Meanwhile, advancements in enhanced oil recovery, completion and refracturing are gaining speed as oil and gas producers look towards less easily recoverable sources of oil and gas.

With all of this on the horizon, there is no room for complacency—change is coming and despite the mild recovery in oil prices, companies should not sit back and rest.

It is time to pick up the pace.


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Oil & Gas Middle East - April 2019

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