On the 3rd September I will be taking the journey north to Aberdeen, Scotland, where the SPE Offshore Europe conference will be held. Gathering together an array of experts and leaders across the oil and gas sector's entire value chain, the conference sets out to explore some of the trends, patterns and predictions which will determine the shape of our market in the next 12 months.
Ahead of the conference, I am putting some thoughts together for some of the highlight panels and presentations as a guide for anyone who isn't able to attend. My perspective will be drawn from my own area of expertise: highly-specialised recruitment and staffing for projects in the oil and gas, construction and infrastructure sectors.
Next Generation Oil & Gas
At World Monitoring, I'm building a forward-looking business so I will be paying close attention to a training and education for young people, and the push and pull factors that determine how the next generation of oil and gas operators will shape the sector.
The keynote panel ‘Securing Generation 2035' sets out to address “the changes that will take place in how we work and what our industry needs to do to attract and retain the talent.” The panel makes it clear that learning from and involving other sectors in addition to a traditional siloed approach will be crucial for the future, and I agree. Our work covers the oil and gas, construction and infrastructure sectors in Kazakhstan and we are tasked to find the right people for the job, whatever the job. Transferrable skills and comparable experiences are going to be the watch-words of recruitment in the future. As industries diversify, we must make room for integrating the experiences and skill-sets that will help each grow and thrive.
As we look ahead to the future of the oil and gas sector, there is no question that technology and automation will continue to improve safety, efficiency and speed – but what will technology do for manpower? Are we moving from Human Resources to ‘Humanoid Resources'?
The keynote panel ‘Artificial Intelligence' will address the joint opportunity and challenge of introducing AI into the oil and gas industry. The panel is comprised of business figures and analysts, but intriguingly we will also hear from Dr Mariarosaria Taddeo, an academic from University of Oxford's Digital Ethics Lab who specialises in ethics and trust in data science and artificial intelligence. In our sector, high-pressure environments are commonplace, and from boardrooms to oil-platforms teams are built on trust. Introducing an element of artificial intelligence will have to be finely balanced and slowly, carefully implemented so that that depth of skills is not lost in pursuit of breadth of skills.
Several of the world's leading multi-national oil companies have a common interest in Kazakhstan via their involvement in the North Caspian Sea Production Sharing Agreement that governs exploration of the enormous Kashagan Field.
Many of those same oil majors will be represented at SPE Offshore 2019, so it will be interesting to see what attention is given to the rapidly changing and maturing business environment in Kazakhstan. With news from the World Bank over the summer that ‘unprecedented system-wide reforms aimed at improving the business climate' have catapulted Kazakhstan into the top 30 performers in the 2019 Doing Business report, appetites may have increased for foreign investment. So, it will be interesting to see how and where Kazakhstan's role in the oil and gas market is addressed.
World Monitoring is committed to developing local content capacity and championing domestic skills, education and expertise across Kazakhstan. We welcome the interest of foreign businesses in Kazakhstan and look forward to working together and contributing to the country's emergence as a global centre of excellence for oil and gas, infrastructure and construction.
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