Over the last few weeks the READ team has covered a lot of miles travelling between continents from North America to the Middle East, Russia and of course, Norway for ONS. (Which by the way was the best conference that I’ve been to in many years). Whichever regional oil capital you visit, you hear a similar message – times are tough, but let’s get on with it. Whether survival mode or opportunistic mode, more focused innovation, optimism and true cooperation are the essence of the new reality.
Our industry is resilient, rich in both talent and resources and always hugely ambitious – whether it’s a start up engineering firm, a multinational OEM or an up-and-coming E&P brand. To some, being agile and innovative comes easier than others. I joined READ after many years with a major OEM. While we might have to work harder to be noticed, our agility and customer-focused innovation translate into highly cooperative relationships. We also have worked in partnership with major international operators that have recognised our strengths and the value they receive when adopting innovative solutions that save time and money.
Both major operators and OEM are capitalizing on the advantages that working with the likes of READ brings in terms of flexibility, adaptability and innovation. The industry can become extremely risk averse, conservative and stifled in the way it thinks when oil price is high, ignoring inefficiencies and taking for granted the fact that it has the potential to be the cradle of innovation. When oil price is low, however, SMEs like READ have many advantages that allow us to develop and take to market new solutions quicker, but it relies on the drilling, exploration and production majors to come forward and be the first, second, and third adopters, to be able to move technology forward, eliminate inefficiencies and redundant processes, improve productivity, use big data, and share some of the rewards for sharing some of the risk.
I was recently challenged on whether we should only work on truly disruptive technology solutions that would revolutionize the industry. Yes, we need to set the bar high and work on some of these, but in the meantime, we shouldn’t neglect the incremental innovation, both technical and in the way we work. Working together to develop best practices and operationalize effective solutions are a big part of the answer to the industry’s challenges.
In just a few weeks many of us will be going to ADIPEC and I am sure the same challenges will be brought up in the numerous discussions across the event’s programme and READ will be happily taking part in those discussions as well as putting our money where our mouth is when it comes to delivering value in our everyday project implementation.