SPEI Board Interview: Hisham Saadawi:OE a perfect sounding board for transferable skills ideas

27 Jul 2017

SPE Offshore Europe 2017
Hisham Saadawi
OE a perfect sounding board for transferable skills ideas

Hisham Saadawi is an international oil industry veteran with 35 years’ industry experience in a variety of oil and gas disciplines. He has a well-rounded career background in production, operations, facilities, project management and process safety and understands the importance of transferable skills. Hisham, who served twice as SPE Distinguished Lecturer, is currently based in Abu Dhabi.

SPE Offshore Europe marks Hisham’s first full year of his three-year term on the SPE Board of Directors as the Technical Director (Production and Facilities), and having attended the conference and exhibition several times before is looking forward to involvement in his official capacity.

He has close ties with the UK, having gained a PhD in fluid mechanics and thermodynamics from the University of Manchester, and rates OE highly as it brings together people from around the globe due to its strategically central location.

In his role as an independent consultant to operators and contractors, Hisham has an overview of business priorities and knows one area in demand is decommissioning, “One of the benefits of attending OE is you can learn from the experiences of others. I’m looking forward to the technical sessions, including one on new business models to address mature basin challenges. There is also a presentation on multiple platform decommissioning in which I am interested.

“North Sea professionals have the chance to become leading examples in transferring skills. Decommissioning requires multi-disciplinary involvement, from project management, experience in topsides, experience in structural engineering, facilities engineering and health, safety and environment procedures. It is a natural progression in mature fields and we should embrace it.”

“If we take the decommissioning of the Brent Field at the moment, what better example can people have on their CV than to be involved in the decommissioning of this giant field that gave its name to the international benchmark price for crude oil.”

Hisham cited the latest EIC report on decommissioning which shows the potential of global decommissioning demand over the next 30 years. In Asia Pacific, there are 1,800 offshore structures with 48% already over 20 years old and 12% over 30 years old. He explained the picture will be similar in other key regions as fields mature.

“One area where we need to improve as an industry is standardisation. When it comes to decommissioning we must work together to develop more guidelines. Indeed, OE, with its decommissioning zone can be a platform for discussion with peers.

“From a global perspective, people will look towards Aberdeen and the North Sea as an example to follow. The legislative framework set in the UK is good for others to review and see what can be applied to their own environments. Moves like setting up the Oil and Gas Authority, setting up Decom North Sea and the establishment of decommissioning tax relief deeds are all mechanisms to follow.

“The industry is beginning to appreciate the complexity and work involved in decommissioning our large offshore assets. The good communication and PR of what it takes must continue, together with further discussions with stakeholders including local communities, fishing, the tourist industry and marine environmentalists. We hope to have more answers after our forthcoming conference.”

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