Paving The Way for Sustainability in The Energy Sector’s Future

Paving The Way for Sustainability in The Energy Sector’s Future

The EGYPS 2023 Sustainability in Energy Conference has been an international platform that brings together global energy leaders as well as sustainability and HSE experts. It was a perfect venue for exploring how oil and gas operators are integrating sustainability practices into their business models and workplaces ensuring a positive impact on the planet, their employees, and the communities in which they operate.

The EGYPS 2023 Sustainability in Energy Conference began with a keynote speech by Ali Abo Sena, Chief Executive Officer of Egypt Ministry of Environment, who shed light on Egypt’s strategy to achieve its Sustainable Development Goals in line with Vision 2030 and the upcoming developments that will be on focus during the next COP 28 in the UAE. Abo Sena referred to the success of the COP 27 in Sharm El Sheikh. “We were able to establish the loss and damage fund which have been discussed over the last 17 years, said Abu Sena.”

Sameh Sabry, Senior Vice President & Managing Director of Wintershall Dea Egypt gave another interesting keynote speech on “Driving sustainable performance in challenging market conditions.” Sabry stresses that more resolute actions need to be taken to maintain a sustainable future in this challenging market. “In Wintershall Dea, we think we need to do more for the future. We believe that carbon management and storage, as well as hydrogen production, could be one solution which is helpful for the survival and existence of our industry in the future. This is an area where we think our industry should evolve into.”

Sabry concluded his keynote speech, stating that sustainability is a key to competitiveness not only the survival of the industry.

Streaming Operations to Tackle Climate Change, Net-Zero Target

A series of panel sessions took place throughout the day.  The first panel discussion was titled “Streaming Operations to Tackle Climate Change and Net-Zero Target”.  During the panel, Denisse Abudinen, CEO of ENAP Sipetrol and General Manager (GM) at ENAP Sipetrol Egypt, indicated that “From the beginning, the shareholders need to understand that trying to be easy going on the environmental sustainability is not a luxury investment. It is a part of the business.”

Paul Mayland, Chief Operating Officer of Capricorn Energy, has pointed out that “Stakeholders, governments, and investors are more receptive to understanding the role of offsets when they see the backdrop when you’re trying to do everything you possibly can within your control to control your own emissions and reduce them over time. But to achieve net zero you face certain challenges and that’s where a meaningful goal for offsets can be placed.”

Continuing the discussion, Anas Aljuaidi, Chief Executive Officer of MMEC Mannesmann, said “Egyptian people have a very open mindset when it comes to the construction. We achieved [a] 35% [reduction] of construction activities and carbon emissions by implementing very smart technologies to reduce emissions.”

Digitalization as an Enabler of Decarbonization

Another panel discussion discussed the role of “Digitalization as an Enabler of Decarbonization”. “Digitalization is revolutionizing the industry. It is a journey, and we are learning, our customers and suppliers are learning. What is vital in the future is how do we shape the public and private relationship and understanding towards the upcoming solutions to make things work as fast as we like them to work,” said Alexander Kajos, Vice President for Downstream at Nalco Water.

Steve Freeman, Head of Energy Transition, SLB carried on the discussion by stressing that “We need to be able to bring out more energy with zero emissions. We need the technology to do that and so therefore digital is essential to do that.”

Furthermore, Samir Elkareish, Vice Chairman Energy Transition of the Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company stated that “We consider that digitalization can provide a comprehensive platform to afford the solutions of the decarbonization to reduce the carbon footprint of the oil and gas industry. We expect to leverage the vision of our colleagues to assist us and accelerate the energy transition in the oil and gas sector.”

Abderrezak Benyoucef, Head of the Energy Studies Development of OPEC pointed out that “digitalization will be very important in the near future based on two fronts. The first front will be measurement of the emissions and the second front will be tracking and reporting. Digitalization is one of the best solutions to provide the transparent data but also contribute to reduce emissions in an effective way.”

The Road to North African and East Mediterranean Cooperation

Another panel of the conference titled “Building partnerships to drive CSR progress across Sub-Sahara Africa, North Africa and the East Mediterranean” was moderated by Ali Hegab, Oil and Gas Consultant. The panellists strategized on how to cross-collaborate to promote CSR initiatives, give back to the community, and assist governments in North Africa and the East Mediterranean with economic and social reform.

The panellists included Nael Darwish, Chairman of the South Valley Egyptian Petroleum Holding Company (GANOPE); Brad Boyd, Senior Vice President of Corporate Resources at Methanex Corporation; and Dalia Wahba, Deputy CEO and Chief Investment Officer at Hassan Allam Utilities. They began by sharing their respective company’s successful CSR initiatives and projects.

Blake Gendron, Vice President of Investor Relations & ESG IMPACT Segment at NESR, commented on the role of government in fostering better cooperation between companies and communities. “We need governments to provide geo-political and regulatory stability,” he said.

Nicolas Katcharov, Country Manager of Energean Egypt, added: “CSR gets people closer, improves loyalty, moral satisfaction which keeps them focused on what they have to do every day in their profession.”

For her part, Laila Chemane-Chilemba, Vice President Socioeconomic Development – Mozambique LNG Project at TotalEnergies pointed out that the companies have the investment but the communities have the know-how.

Enhancing HSE through R&D

Undoubtedly, safety hazards have been a concern within the oil and gas industry due to their ability to cause lost income and most importantly fatalities or injuries to workers on-site. In this sense, a panel titled “Scaling R&D to unlock technology and enhance industry safety”, highlighted the role technology can play in creating safer worker environments.

The panel was moderated by Ali Hegab, Oil and Gas consultant and comprised HSE executives and digital energy leaders including Mohammed Bahatem, Senior Vice President of HSSE & Asset Integrity Management at Mubadala Energy, James Garvie HSE Advisor at Cheiron and Mathew Thomas, Senior Industry Consultant at Hexagon.

Mohammed Bahatem gave a few remarks on technology tools that achieve autonomous work including virtual reality, robotics, machine learning and augmented reality. He said, “Digitalization is not an objective it is an enabler.”

When asked about one important thing that enhances safety, Mathew answers: “Leveraging the potential of the data that is available to us is the key factor in enhancing safety.”

James Garvie discussed the four main themes that Cheiron consider when it comes to health and safety; communication, automation, inspection and new process and materials.

Dialogue on Developing the Oil and Gas Safety Culture

The final panel of the conference discussed “Advancing the Oil and Gas Safety Culture” and was moderated by Hussein El Ghazzawy, Chairman of Coxswains for Marketing & Commercial Training. In this session, panellists discussed what are the key indicators of a strong safety culture and how they are working towards a safety program that emphasizes on the health and safety of employees.

Yasser Hassan, Safety and Environment Manager at Shell Egypt initiated the discussion by commenting “We have to learn how to fail safely. It’s important to put all controls in to place and that we try standardize our system with the industry and international organizations.”

Alexandra Thomas, Managing Director Egypt at Neptune Energy, discussed how to create the right safety culture and environment where people feel safe. “In Egypt, Neptune has first set the expectations, secondly, make sure people are recognized for their competence and thirdly, properly embedding the system.”

Wael Amin, Head of HSE at Kuwait Energy Egypt, started with alarming statistics from the International Labour Office concerning health and safety. Wael then insisted that it is the managers role to lead by example. “The fastest way to destroy safety culture is when managers don’t walk the talk, the credibility of the safety culture will then be in danger,” he added.

Jessica Jackson, Vice President of Environment, Health and Safety at Apache Corporate, stated that “If you look at the lifecycle of an oil and gas worker, becoming complaisant is a problem, especially that many have been on the jobs for years.” Jessica added that this is not a “one size fits all challenge; every culture and operating are being different.”

Global Sustainability in Energy Awards

The Sustainability in Energy Conference was concluded by the Sustainability in Energy Awards Ceremony.

The awards were divided into five categories, addressing the oil and gas sector’s successful projects and leaders that aim at creating a better and safer future.

The first category of the awards was for the Best Environmental Project of the Year.

The winner was Petrobel which was awarded for the desalination plant freshwater withdrawal reducing project. The winner of the highly commended award was Baker Hughes for their integrated watershed management and soil carbon content enhancement project.

The award for Best CSR Project of the Year was awarded to ANOPC for their corporate social responsibility project. Chevron won the award for its highly commended project for empowering women to be future innovators.

Badr El Din Petroleum Company was awarded the Best Health Project of the Year for its initiative in food safety and hygiene management in remote locations. The highly commended project award was given to Rashid Petroleum Company for their health risk assessment (HRA) project.

The Best Safety Project of the Year was awarded to TotalEnergies for their Suez Depot technical truck inspection centre project. Meanwhile, Methanex got the highly commended project award for its process safety management framework created for the Egyptian oil and gas sector project.

The last category of the awards was for the Best Digitalization Project of the Year. The winner was the Egyptian Liquified Natural Gas (ELNG) company for the HSE barrier management dashboard project. Meanwhile, Baker Hughes won the highly commended award for their multi-sensor data assimilation and model-driven analytics project.



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