This edition’s Pulse interview is with IOGP Americas Director, Wafik Beydoun. He joined IOGP in 2019 as a secondee from Total with more than 30 years’ experience in the upstream oil and gas sector. Wafik is based in Houston, Texas.
1. What are the key challenges facing oil and gas producers in the Americas region?
Today’s overwhelming challenge is the COVID-19 pandemic. It hit the region hard and continues to severely threaten communities and economies. Oil demand dropped by almost 30 percent; the same is true for upstream investments. This comes at a time when some producers are already facing major challenges. For example, US tight oil and Canadian oil sands were already, pre-COVID 19, under pressure of thin margins. On the other hand, the oil and gas industry in this region is of strategic importance across the value chain. The Americas region holds about a third of the world’s proven oil reserves and significant natural gas reserves as well. That’s why it is key to ensure that the industry can operate in a sustainable business environment, have the right workforce in place and can prove it is embracing procedures and technologies that ensure cleaner and more efficient ways of production.
2. How can IOGP help its Members tackling these challenges?
A large proportion of IOGP Members are either headquartered or have business activities in the Americas. There are a couple of ways IOGP can help its members, especially during the post-COVID-19 recovery initiative:
- Provide a robust environment for oil and gas producers to discuss, share, and develop good practices and processes for operations and HSSE (local versus global), enhancing the adoption by the industry at large. The benefits of this include more efficient use of existing (and limited) human resources, lowering overall costs, and improving turnaround.
- Define a member-driven strategy and an implementation plan, in countries such as Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, and Guyana. This would entail a collective effort to engage key oil and gas stakeholders (such as lawmakers, national oil companies, regulators, national oil industry associations) to share local versus international experiences and case studies, resulting in more widespread best practices – including Life-Saving Rules, oil spill emergency response, environmental licensing, and others.
3. How do you engage with other partners to provide effective and efficient support to IOGP’s Members?
Strong cooperation with other relevant associations/societies in the region (API, SPE, ARPEL, IADC, OPITO or OSRL) is key. IOGP, being the only international association that speaks for oil and gas producers globally, facilitates the dialogue with other associations when discussing collaboration. Working together as an ‘enhanced group of associations’ to align and harmonize on respective products not only empowers the collective experience of this group when engaging with local stakeholders in the country considered (authorities, regulators, NOIA), but also makes it more effective for local stakeholders to engage with this collective group to discuss best practices or use of standards, instead of having to deal with multiple associations/societies acting separately and competing for attention.