Smart Technologies in the Valve Sector



Interview with Juan Vesga, Consultant with over 25 years of experience in the upstream O&G Industry

Tim-Frederik Kohler: Juan, you are an independent consultant for the industry when it comes to Advance Controls Systems and Automation. You and I both live in Singapore; we can see the struggle companies have here especially in the offshore sector. Have we reached bottom yet? And what do you think are the top 3 trends and top 3 challenges in the industry this and next year?

Juan Vesga: I do believe that the industry in general has reached a bottom line. The main concern now for the industry is how companies and their clients manage and survive the existing and current conditions of the industry.

As such, I believe there would still be a loss of a few of the mayor remaining players due to their deteriorating financials and this would keep leading the way for mergers and acquisitions in some cases.

The second trend and as a result of the previous observation is the retirement and/or retrenching of several of the remaining people with the most operational experience and technical knowledge in the industry.

The third trend I could see is the continuous deterioration of the different installations and their equipment due to different factors from reduction on budgets due to the market conditions, stacking – cold or warm – of the rigs, and as mentioned previously, the continuous loss of technical knowledge and experienced people as they leave the industry.

Tim-Frederik Kohler: This smells like trouble, especially when the industry starts to recover.

Juan Vesga: Exactly, when it eventually begin to recover – slowly or at a fast pace -, based on my years of work experience in the oil and gas, and having started working in the industry when it was also in a depressed market condition, I would say there would be several challenges that will be adversely affecting the industry.

In my opinion and to answer your question, the 3 Main Challenges would be:

People. This is an extremely sensitive issue for the recovery of the industry. But not just people. What I am referring are people with the right operational experience and the technical knowledge to ensure the industry is brought back to, as a minimum, the same if not to a higher technical, operational and safe level as when the down turn began. This would be the hardest challenge to overcome. However, new technologies may be able to help, but again everything would be down to people with the right skills, knowledge and operational experience needed for the industry.

The second challenge would be the Supply Chain. From basic supplies to very specific pieces of equipment and technology. Due to the current market conditions and the unforeseen recovery at the moment, reduction of end users, oversupply of equipment, and others, manufacturers and vendors have and will continue to adjust their inventories down, which in turn will hurt the industry once a recovery begins to take place. In addition, new and updated rules and regulations are likely to create another issue for existing equipment to be installed and used on some installations. This would result in reduced availability, adverse deliveries and ultimately large financial impact.

The third challenge is New Technology. As technology keeps moving on and is adapted in the industry, new systems and equipment would not have the opportunity to be utilize and create a track record within the industry that results in a minimum required level of confidence when considered for installation, especially offshore.

We speak about “Smart Technologies” and “Big Data” and how it would help the industry develop further by using infinity amounts of data generated by the different pieces of equipment and systems for the different operational conditions, but….

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#SmartTechnologies #DBB #OilandGas #BigData #IndustrialValves #DigitalTransformation #SupplyChain

(Images source: © Sergey Nivens / fotolia + xmentoys / fotolia + AS-Schneider)