2020– The force majeure of a year!
It may sound trite to reiterate how daunting the year has been. However, I dare say that it has, and this did not also fail to come with its myriad of opportunities even for us as professionals. It was such that our creative ‘oil’ was drilled, and it afforded us the chance to stay connected through webinars, virtual technical meetings and other special events like our first ever virtual (38th) Annual International Conference and Exhibition (AICE). We got kudos due to our collective effort in ensuring that it was a success by all standards. We say without a doubt that year 2020 allowed for outside-the-box thinking and doggedness. It was indeed encouraging to see the dauntless optimism that was exhibited.
As the world seeks to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, the oil and gas sector was equally served with many predictions of what the aftermath of the pandemic will bring. From the extrapolation from The International Energy Agency (IEA) to the one from OPEC, we have continued to learn one major lesson: What the world wants from energy is changing, and so we need to change, quite frankly, what we offer the world. Experts have posited that consumer habits have changed for good and discerning companies need to see the writing on the wall and change course accordingly. I must remind us of what Bernard Looney, BP’s CEO, called the two-pronged crisis, that is, an oil price war and the impact of COVID-19. This has continued to alter or accelerate the plans to diversify into other energy sectors, prompting a change in the business model.
As we may be aware, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources has noted that Nigeria will be required to produce 1.579 million BPD between January 2021 and April 2022. The river appears to have more sharks in it and only the fittest will survive. I will add that there is no gainsaying the fact that oil & gas and chemicals leaders will be defined by what they do along the three dimensions of managing a crisis: respond, recover, and thrive. This ought to be used as a catalyst to rethink how work is to be done. Suffice it to say, the effectiveness of our responses to these challenges will determine the future of work; what it will look like and how to align talent with strategies for the new environment. We won’t need Michel de Nostradamus to see tomorrow if we continue with business as usual!
The end of each year is a milestone and an occasion to celebrate– an opportunity to momentarily consider, yet, a ticket to chart the path forward. I am delighted to be sending you best wishes for the coming year. Here is wishing that your holidays be full of warmth and cheer!
Mrs. Patricia Ochogbu, FNAPE