Youth will help industry reach potential
Widad Haddad, VP and GM of the UAE, Oman, Yemen and Lebanon for Emerson, says youth are vital
What have you noticed in the digital/automation segment of oil and gas?
A lot of customers are trying to really see how they are going to do it. In the past, it was a theory, a concept. Everyone was talking about it as the future.
Now, it’s really no longer the future, it is now, and a lot of the oil and gas producers are actually implementing a lot of the things we were talking about a year or two ago.
The way I see it, a lot of the trends in digitisation that are adding value to the human resources side of these businesses are attracting a lot of attention, especially from the safety side.
The drive for automation started to cut costs during the downturn. How might stable oil prices impact its uptake?
Either operators reduce cost immediately, at the start during the execution of the project, or they get smarter and build technology into their operation that is going to serve them on a long term basis as they start operating the production.
Digitisation is helping find solutions that are cutting long term costs, and if you add these up, they add up to huge numbers, keeping in mind that most of these operations will run for decades.
It’s kind of shifting the mindset to the longer term saving, whereas before, the focus was on short term savings.
What is the importance of bringing youth into the oil & gas industry?
We’re seeing a challenge here, as in the rest of the world, where the ageing workforce is getting close to retiring.
We’re seeing a big part of whoever ran these production facilities starting to get close to retirement, and we have to develop the younger generation to be upskilled. Technology is helping with that.
The younger generation is needed actually for two reasons: One is to backfill the generation that is retiring. Things need to keep running and that gap needs to be bridged quickly, but also, the newer generations tend to be faster at adapting newer technology. They grasp it fast, it is kind of intuitive for them.
So when companies like Emerson come up and create new technologies, we think of that future generation. We think that it is a generation that is savvy in technology that is going to run with whatever we are offering, and that is something beneficial for us. It is also beneficial for transforming a facility or production into a more digital space.
Without the younger generation we will struggle to go as far as technology can take us.
Widad Haddad says youth are the key to taking the industry forward