DNV GL applies data analytics techniques to reduce downtime

DNV GL applies data analytics techniques to reduce downtime

Thursday, 17 August 2017 06:31

Lundin N...

Libya's NOC and Repsol meet to discuss Al Sharara field security breach

Libya's NOC and Repsol meet to discuss A…

Thursday, 17 August 2017 05:19

Eng. Mustafa Sanalla, NOC Chairman of the Board of Directors, held a meeting with Luis Polo Navas Director of Libya Business Unit at Repsol Company on Sunday afternoon 13 August...

Mobil Oil Nigeria change its name to 11 Plc

Mobil Oil Nigeria change its name to 11 …

Wednesday, 16 August 2017 07:50

In a notice sent to the Nigerian Stock Exchange, Mobil Oil Nigeria has informed dealing members and the investing public of its change of name from Mobil Oil Nigeria to...

Emerson launches new drilling jar clamp

Emerson launches new drilling jar clamp

Wednesday, 16 August 2017 07:17

Emerson Automation Solutions has launched the latest product within its polymer completions solutions range – the PolyOil® JAR Handling Clamp – for increased safety and well integrity

Zambia commissions first oil survey

Zambia commissions first oil survey

Tuesday, 15 August 2017 07:33

Zambian president, Edgar Changa Lungu and Tullow Oil have announced the country’s first-ever oil survey

Baker Hughes GE releases field-proven coiled tubing simulation software

Baker Hughes GE releases field-proven co…

Tuesday, 15 August 2017 07:16

Baker Hughes, a GE company, has announced the introduction of its CIRCA™ coiled tubing simulation software, which enables coiled tubing service providers to maximise equipment performance and improve operational efficiency...

H1 gross and post-tax profits up for Oando

H1 gross and post-tax profits up for Oan…

Monday, 14 August 2017 07:22

Indigenous Nigerian energy group Oando has reported increased turnover and profits for the first half of 2017, compared with the same period last year

Cairn’s SNE North-1 exploration well offshore Senegal discovers oil and gas

Cairn’s SNE North-1 exploration well off…

Thursday, 10 August 2017 06:59

Cairn Energy has announced positive results from the drilling of its SNE North-1 exploration well offshore Senegal, which encountered both oil and gas reserves in the primary objective

Uganda to develop oil refinery in Hoima district

Uganda to develop oil refinery in Hoima …

Thursday, 10 August 2017 06:00

Uganda has selected a consortium including General Electric (GE) and Italian Saipem to build and operate a 60,000 bpd oil refinery plant in Hoima district in the western part of...

Frost & Sullivan commends Oniqua's IQ optimization suite for operational efficiency in the oil and gas industry

Frost & Sullivan commends Oniqua's I…

Wednesday, 09 August 2017 06:13

Oniqua helps companies optimize MRO spares and materials management, resulting in reduced costs, greater service levels, and increased efficiency

Platts: OPEC July hits 2017 high of 32.8mn bpd on Libya recovery

Platts: OPEC July hits 2017 high of 32.8…

Wednesday, 09 August 2017 06:01

Libya's continued dramatic recovery from civil strife pushed OPEC's July output to yet another 2017 high, with the bloc producing 32.82mn bpd, according to the latest S&P Global Platts OPEC survey

Grant signing ceremony for Mozambique to build 78MW gas plant

Grant signing ceremony for Mozambique to…

Tuesday, 08 August 2017 06:57

The US Trade and Development Agency will hold a grant signing ceremony and subsequent press conference on 10 August 2017, at the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) forum to...

Kosmos Energy announces financial result for Q2 2017, generates revenue of US$136mn

Kosmos Energy announces financial result…

Tuesday, 08 August 2017 06:47

The Dallas-based Kosmos Energy announced financial and operating results for the Q2 2017, highlighting that the company generated revenues of US$136mn during the time as compared to the US$46mn in...

How pipeline leak detection is set to change over the next decade

How pipeline leak detection is set to ch…

Monday, 07 August 2017 07:06

Oil and gas pipeline leak detection equipment are utilised to detect leaks in the pipelines carrying oil and gas Due to hazardous nature of oil and gas their transportation through pipelines require extra...

Oil and gas drone market to generate US$1.15bn by the end of 2017

Oil and gas drone market to generate US$…

Friday, 04 August 2017 07:43

The latest research report from business intelligence provider Visiongain offers a comprehensive analysis of the Oil and Gas Drones market. Visiongain assesses that this market will generate $1.15 bn in...

SeaBird Exploration signs LoI for shallow water 3D seismic survey in West Africa

SeaBird Exploration signs LoI for shallo…

Thursday, 03 August 2017 07:11

The project is anticipated to commence during H1 2018 and will have a duration of approximately two months

HR specialists the natural choice

Recruitment has entered a difficult period in all corners of fast-expanding Africa. Only true professionals can both pick up company ‘culture’ and weave in progressive ideas.

AFRICA’S TOP O&G executives operate in a ‘global village’ where most know one another, uniform standards are maintained and career opportunities can be discussed before they arise. Electronic communication makes all this possible, but the recent misunderstanding at the CITES conference in Qatar – a new automated voting system produced a ludicrous result - showed how people can never be made redundant.

However the culture – the unspoken ‘how we do things around here’ - of this community is changing rapidly as fewer expatriates are employed as policy, more institutions like Nigeria’s universities adjust the content of their engineering courses to take account of new shortages, and the industry adapts to the simultaneous arrival of a skills crisis (upcoming retirement of the 1970s oil-boom intake) and a surfeit in other areas as riskier downstream projects go on ‘hold’.

It all adds up to heavy and conflicting demands on the human resources (HR) professionals, who on the one hand see many of their traditional responsibilities being transferred to electronic self-service, while on the other their masters demand a revised plan to make sure they are covered for upcoming vacancies that must be properly filled.

A whole specialism has grown up to cope with these stresses, which are particularly acute in the oil and gas industries in Africa. Just relying on more technology is not going to bridge the gap, and an unfilled executive position might save the operator US$100K-plus annually in salary, costs and benefits but load more than ten times this onto the wrong side of the accounts – year after year.

Having an in-depth understanding of this unwritten company culture is one of the prime reasons to retain a proper recruitment team, especially if the arrangement is maintained over more than one round of the business cycle. It might cost more in the short term over going it alone, but over years it will pay for itself many times over. And almost certainly result in a better carry-over of skilled personnel when the new recruitment round begins too.

Before contacting potential recruits the good HR consultant will take time to learn from the client about these unstated ground rules. They are to be found in organisations of every size. For example, in a national trading business like import/export often the boss is only seen and heard when something goes wrong. In a multi- or international business like consulting engineering formal procedures defined overseas are often paid lip service too only. And in the very specialised worlds of oil and gas – plural because these industries have so many facets from E&P through downstream processing as well as the massive business of moving products – there are very special ground rules that ensure an excellent record of safe operation, but not necessarily of service too.

Today’s recruitment professionals know about the importance of all this, especially those businesses that specialise in huge industries like energy, or in successful ‘business provinces’ like ECOWAS.

However they also know that company culture is changing around the world in response to new circumstances like environmental pressure, the whole flavour of new administrations, especially the USA’s, international agreements binding WTO members, and the impact of electronic social networking.

The result is new-style objectives as stated in those glossy company reports, with values like sustainability predominating over the numbers banished to the back, a huge increase in reliance on IT, adoption of international standards on retirement (such as abandonment of default ages), new lines of communication in the form of ways of speaking to/hearing from the boss, and adoption of consulting rather than top-down approaches to organisation and methods.

The best specialised recruitment businesses know of all these trends and the extent to which what is happening elsewhere is reflected in the special conditions here in Africa. They will endeavour to supply only candidates who fit the bill.

As examples, in Nigeria right now the emphasis is on actually conserving as much energy as possible, even though this is one of the world’s most well-endowed nations. So a vigorous programme of renewables is being pursued as a means of reducing demand on generators, even the in-house ones.

In IT, miniaturisation prevails, so if it can’t be conveyed on a hand-held screen it probably won’t be heard at all.

Retirement wise, experienced local recruiters recognise that life expectancies here are shorter than elsewhere, family obligations more demanding and that the ‘Western’ model on rules and expectations cannot be imported wholesale.

And in terms of communication the old military method of doing things by order is unlikely to work in many parts of the Africa of today. Nigeria’s NOC seems to be modeling its future on Brazil’s, no longer just an arm of tax-reliant government but a multi-faceted trading enterprise in its own right, able to raise funds when and where it needs. And Ghana, a complete newcomer to the hydrocarbon industry, is a beacon of democracy and good order.

So progressive O&G operators here recognise that they operate within precincts of a potentially much more prosperous global village. But at the same time they know that, unless they move with the times, some of their advantages could be thrown away. Having a good team of HR professionals on board can prevent this from happening.

Finally, two examples from very recent research of what can happen if none of this is paid heed to, and of the business upturn that can be enjoyed if all goes well.

Crude World

by Peter Maass (276pp, 2009) describes the oil business of old, with examples drawn from most corners of the world to show what happens when "the way we do things around here" is seriously flawed. But the future for exciting newcomer regions like West Africa, the Southwest coast and the Great Lakes doesn’t have to be like that. In his book The future of work (256pp, 2009) Richard Donkin paints a picture of what positive results can follow if a company adapts, with the aid of a good HR team, of course.

Alain Charles Publishing, University House, 11-13 Lower Grosvenor Place, London, SW1W 0EX, UK
T: +44 20 7834 7676, F: +44 20 7973 0076, W: www.alaincharles.com

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