Africa holds op­por­tu­ni­ties for oil and gas

Ibrahim Al-alawi, deputy CEO of Al Man­soori, says Africa is a key mar­ket and dig­i­tal tech­nol­ogy is a key tool

Oil & Gas Middle East - - ADIPEC REVIEW -

What are the lat­est de­vel­op­ments at Al Man­soori?

The big, ex­cit­ing thing we’re very proud of is our new au­to­mated well test­ing unit. It is a fully au­to­mated well test­ing pack­age that can be on site with no hu­man in­ter­ven­tion.

It is all con­trolled through the in­ter­net, so it doesn’t mat­ter where you are in the world, as long as you have con­nec­tiv­ity, you can con­trol ev­ery­thing and you get all the data in real time with­out putting any­one in harm’s way. It has not been out in the field yet.

What are the key trends you’ve no­ticed in the past year?

Dig­i­tal­i­sa­tion, def­i­nitely data min­ing and mak­ing sense out of all this data. We are get­ting very good at col­lect­ing data, but we need to work out what we do with that data, and how we should use it to im­prove the way things work.

That is some­thing we’re work­ing on with our part­ners, ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence com­pa­nies de­vel­op­ing al­go­rithms that can do the data min­ing and see the trends that we may not be able to see our­selves.

I’m also see­ing a loss of knowl­edge in the in­dus­try, a loss of skills with the re­tir­ing of the old guard, and in the last two years of down­turn we have not re­plen­ished the ranks of those peo­ple.

There is a gap, and it is be­ing filled by younger peo­ple who have less ex­pe­ri­ence. We see it as an op­por­tu­nity, some see it as a li­a­bil­ity, but we def­i­nitely view it as an op­por­tu­nity, es­pe­cially with dig­i­tal­i­sa­tion and ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence, which can help us do things that were pre­vi­ously done by hu­man be­ings.

From your per­spec­tive, what is the po­ten­tial for dig­i­tal­i­sa­tion?

As com­put­ing power and ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence im­prove, they will get much bet­ter at analysing data. To­day, it takes a hu­man mind to read some­thing, look at it and make sense of it.

Our thought pro­cesses are be­ing trans­ferred to com­put­ers, and as that tech­nol­ogy im­proves, and as com­pa­nies adapt it into the oil­field, we’re def­i­nitely go­ing to see more ways that that can be used to fill in the skills gap that we see in the in­dus­try.

What sets your com­pany apart?

Our tagline is “Al­ways Al Man­soori,” and that is very true, be­cause when peo­ple use our ser­vices they al­ways ask us to come back, be­cause we be­lieve in giv­ing the cus­tomers what they want and in de­liv­er­ing their ex­pec­ta­tions, not just the con­trac­tual obli­ga­tions.

We move one step above and be­yond what is writ­ten in the con­tract to meet their ex­pec­ta­tions, what they have in mind and what they are hop­ing to see.

So far we’ve been very suc­cess­ful at that and we ex­pect to con­tinue do­ing that as long as we are around.

What can we ex­pect from Al Man­soori in 2019?

One of the ex­cit­ing things for us is East Africa. We’ve started first oil in Kenya, and we ex­pect that to grow next year. We are also look­ing for­ward to the field de­vel­op­ment project that is go­ing on in Uganda, we hope to be a part of that. There could also be some prospects in West Africa. We are def­i­nitely look­ing into Africa.

Ibrahim Al-alawi is the deputy CEO of Al Man­soori Spe­cialised Engineering

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