You have worked in Egypt, Indonesia, Scotland, France, Russia and the United States, with people from around the globe, what would you say were the common traits of managers who influenced you the most?
Schlumberger is a multinational and multicultural company with people representing more than 140 nationalities. Throughout my career, I have learned from each culture and been influenced by managers who have exceptional qualities. These qualities include inclusiveness, openness, strong leadership in HSE and service quality, as well as the ability to mentor others and enable customer success through collaboration.
What are the biggest challenges the sector is currently facing, especially on the Human Resources front? And how can these challenges be addressed?
The success of the sector depends on people who not only have the right combination of skills and professionalism but also a positive mindset. All these elements are essential for working in the dynamic oil and gas sector, which faces many challenges and evolutions in supply and demand, evolving technology progress and digitalization.
It is very important for each company to realize that value can only be created through people and to invest in relevant training and development programs within their companies. This can be done by collaborating with various industry stakeholders to identify the relevant needs of the market and ensure the industry attracts, develops and retains the best talent to accelerate the development of the country’s oil and gas potential.
What does Schlumberger bring to the professional development of the sector, as the company has been noticeably active in organizing training programs in cooperation with the Ministry of Petroleum, including the Middle Management program as part of the Modernization Project?
One of Schlumberger’s core values is people. Our company culture supports training and developing people so they can identify customer needs and leverage state-of-the- art technology that delivers jobs with exceptional performance and a focus on safety.
Schlumberger is a key partner of the oil and gas sector in Egypt. In December 2018, we signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on capacity building with the Ministry of Petroleum. This agreement aligns our efforts with the Modernization Project led by Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources H.E. Eng Tarek El Molla, which aims to make the oil and gas sector the leading sector in the country. Under the MoU, Schlumberger will provide training opportunities for undergraduates students in collaboration with the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE), graduate students not yet employed in the industry, and new recruited population in the oil and gas sector joint ventures (JVs), in addition to the middle management group.
We are extremely proud of all our ongoing engagements and especially with the middle management program where we are proving a customized training covering soft skills, change management, strategic planning, as well as functional innovative approach in HR, supply chain, legal, ethics and compliance. Also, the training gives a very important focus on HSE, leveraging our best practices from across the world to foster a mindset of teamwork and collaboration for all participants.
We have been extremely pleased with the feedback of the participants, instructors and ministry team from the program and we are currently planning to extend a tailored program to the technical population selected by the ministry as part of the Modernization Project.
How do you keep your own workforce continuously developing and gaining new skills?
As previously mentioned, people is one of our core values and investing in training and development has always been key in Schlumberger. We leverage our global footprint and diverse services and product portfolio to enable our employees to always gain new skills. They are developed and trained within their current product line or functions while also benefiting from various geographical exposure. This enables them to gain experience by being exposed to different customers and working environments as well as various technologies. There is also a cross-functional transfer development to further enable additional skills and foster an environment of knowledge transfer and sharing to always continue to improve. Another key element in the training and development is leveraging the latest technology innovations to provide a cutting-edge technologies environment with new learning practices across our learning centers and online trainings as well as on the job exposure.
Schlumberger is also sponsoring a number of programs for university students. In your opinion, what will the new generation of oil and gas professionals bring to the industry?
Yes, Schlumberger Egypt is working closely with the SPE chapters in various universities in Egypt and providing a first of kind customized program aligning the universities petroleum engineering curriculums, providing the students with tailored exposure to the latest technologies and strong HSE culture in our state-of-the-art operational base in 6th of October City. So far, the program has included students from several universities, including Cairo University, Future University, Al-Azhar University, American University in Cairo and Suez University. Students are set up in multi-university teams to ensure they gain teamwork and collaboration skills and balanced diversity exposure. We are extremely happy with the program based on the feedback from students and professors. It will accelerate their onboarding into the real oil and gas workforce, enabling them to succeed in their careers and become the leaders of the future.
You have expressed many times that diversity is an important value for Schlumberger, what have been the efforts the company has exerted to ensure equality and diversity within its workforce?
Diversity is indeed very important and is a cornerstone of success. Diversity can be looked at from a culture diversity and gender diversity perspective. Both are equally important as they ensure we capitalize on the best of the pool of talent to always outperform as a company and as an industry overall. As a company, Schlumberger’s recruitment policy has been centered around recruiting where we are operating, developing our people locally and globally as well as proving opportunity for growth in the company solely based on merit and performance. Gender diversity has also been a key focus to ensure leveraging the full pool of talent from universities; there is a lot of drive to ensure we have significant balance between male and female employees across the organization.
Schlumberger has reached many milestones during its 80 years in Egypt. Where do you see the positioning itself in the Egyptian market over the long-term?
In 2018, Schlumberger marked its 80th year in Egypt. We celebrated this milestone in December with the official inauguration of our Egypt Center of Efficiency Operations base in 6th of October City. At this event we were honored with the participation of H.E Eng. Tarek El Molla, all the oil and gas sector leadership, and Schlumberger CEO Paal Kibsgaard. We are very proud of our partnership with our clients in delivering key mega projects across many years in Egypt and in continuously bringing new technology to the Egypt oil and gas sector. We are also very proud of our involvement and partnership with various stakeholders in making the Zohr gas field success story a reality, where Schlumberger technologies and solutions have been instrumental in making the discovery and accelerating the time from discovery to first gas. Schlumberger is very pleased of its success with the Atoll field development in record time. This demonstrated the unique capabilities of the Egypt oil and gas sector as well as a strong teamwork and collaborative spirit that allowed us and our clients to deliver world-class records and new industry benchmarks.
Also, very important is our engagement in exploration and development all across Egypt from the Mediterranean, the Western Desert, the Nile delta , to the Gulf of Suez.
Schlumberger has developed a leading position in the multiclient seismic acquisition in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Suez and being enablers for new licensing rounds to attract further investments into Egypt.
The future of the industry is digital and we are very honored to be part of the Egypt oil and gas digital transformation, supporting the Modernization Project in attracting new investment.
You joined the EOG Technical Committee in September 2018. Could you share your impressions about the committee and its activities, especially as it gathers some of the biggest names in the industry in Egypt?
I am very impressed by the committee charter, work and vision to help improve the sector by providing innovative ideas and forums to exchange know- how and to lead joint initiatives beneficial for the sector in collaboration with Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC), Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (EGAS), GANOPE and the ministry stakeholders.
This is the 150th issue of Egypt Oil & Gas, is there something you want to say on this occasion?
A big congratulation for this major milestone! Even prior to coming to Egypt, I have been following the EOG news on various channels to keep up to date with the industry progress and news. Since my arrival to Egypt, me and my team have further benefited from the quality of information. Congratulations and keep up the great work!