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Awards 2017: The judges speak about the campaign and nominations

by Indrajit Sen on Jul 9, 2017

Angie Slavens, Managing director, UniverSUL Consulting.
Angie Slavens, Managing director, UniverSUL Consulting.
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Angie Slavens, Managing director, UniverSUL Consulting

What role do you think the Oil & Gas Middle East and Refining & Petrochemicals Middle East Awards play in recognising and rewarding work in the regional industry?

These awards have been extremely important in recognizing and highlighting industry successes and rewarding innovative thought leaders in the region over the past 8 years.  Also, in any industry, it is vital to routinely step back and reflect upon pioneering achievements to gain perspective on where the industry may be headed in the future.  Furthermore, these awards serve as a snapshot of some of the latest industrial and regional developments, which can be inspiring to those already participating in the industry, and effective in attracting potential new talent.  

Why do you feel it is important to celebrate success in our industry?

According to the BP Energy Outlook, Middle Eastern energy consumption will rise by approximately 50% in the next 20 years.  By 2035, the Middle East will make up only 4% of global population, but contribute almost 8% to global energy consumption, surpassing the FSU to become the most energy intensive region in the world.  Innovation will be key in meeting these energy demand challenges in a responsible, sustainable and economically viable way.  Some of the largest oil and gas processing facilities in the world already exist in the Middle East and there will be additional similar and even larger developments in the future.  It is important to celebrate past, present and future successes to showcase and create awareness about the impressive historic energy journey that the Middle East has been on thus far, as well as where it is likely to be headed in the future.

What prompted you to become a part of the jury for our awards this year?

I have developed a good relationship with ITP over the past few years, as the organization has demonstrated that they have a keen interest and firm grasp on the oil and gas issues that are important to the region.  In this vein, this year’s Awards will include a category dedicated to sour gas and sulphur, given that the Middle East became the world’s largest sulphur producing region in 2015.  I have spent around 18 years focused on sour gas processing and sulphur recovery, and have been consulting on such matters exclusively within the Middle East since 2014.

It is our endeavour to acknowledge, through the Awards, credible work and pioneering initiatives taking place in the vital domains of operational excellence, health & safety and corporate social responsibility (which of course includes In-Country Value deeds) through relevant categories. What would you say of our campaign to shine the spotlight on these aspects that are crucial to the very survival of the oil and gas industry now? How necessary do you think is it to recognise the stakeholders’ performance in these verticals?

Although renewables are expected to be the fastest growing fuel source in the near future (projected to reach 10% of total energy supply by 2035 according to BP Energy Outlook), oil and gas will continue to play a critical role in meeting global energy demands for many decades to come.  It is important to recognize that continued development of natural resources is required, while also highlighting the latest advances in developing these assets in responsible and sustainable ways.  The most exceptional projects should be showcased to serve as models for other projects in the region and around the globe.

What is the standard of nominations that you are expecting to receive this year? By that same token, briefly outline what elements in an entry you think make it worthy of an Award.

The primary objective of acid gas removal and sulphur recovery is HSE, as it relates to H2S toxicity and SO2 emissions concerns.  Given the recent drop in sulphur prices, developing and operating sulphur recovery facilities presents new economical challenges for the industry.  Entries which address all of the HSE challenges that sulphur recovery entails, while also balancing against energy efficiency/carbon footprint and OpEx, will be of the utmost interest.  Novel, innovative approaches toward achieving economically viable, sustainable results will be given preference.

(Next page: Saji Sam share his thoughts....)


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