SPEI Board Interview: Janeen Judah: Looking forward to a mass migration to SPE Offshore Europe

27 Jul 2017

SPE Offshore Europe 2017
Janeen Judah
Looking forward to a mass migration to SPE Offshore Europe

Not many people know that the president of the Society of Petroleum Engineers, Janeen Judah, is an avid birdwatcher, first attracted by the variety and international migration of colourful warblers and shorebirds. Her first experiences as a “twitcher” came in her home of Texas, USA, where thousands of birds stop off in the upper Texas coast during their long flight from South America to the northern US and Canada each spring. 

Janeen’s days observing nature widened her horizons and that global curiosity has extended to her career in oil and gas. Ahead of SPE Offshore Europe 2017, the members of SPE’s board of directors are looking forward to an international audience flying in to discuss the most topical matters affecting one of the key industry regions. 

Janeen has observed first-hand the ingenuity and determination that has framed activity emanating from the North East of Scotland during the recent industry downturn. She has met Scots and Aberdonians at SPE conferences around the world but said she is looking forward to seeing them in their own back yard.

“There are so many technologies which have come out of the North Sea,” said Janeen. “This will be the home show for a lot of people and I’m looking forward to seeing lots of offshore equipment and solutions on display. I’m particularly interested in finding out more about decommissioning and heavy lift, as there will be more of this activity in the North Sea over the next decade of two. Aberdeen is also the subsea capital of the world so there is a real core of knowledge here.”

The theme of the show, Embracing New Realities: Reinventing Our Industry, aligns strongly with discussions across industry and within the SPE international board meetings. Operators, contractors, consultants, government and academia have been working together to find new ways of tackling the lower cost base challenges. There are some positive messages.
Janeen added: “Oil prices have been relatively stable for a year now, so if people can make projects economic at $45 to $50 a barrel then they are being sanctioned. Most people agree that we’re over the worst and we’ve reached the bottom. As a flagship international show, OE is a chance to show that some confidence has returned.

“This has been a historic downturn and it’s definitely on par with the 1980s, but we’re in a cyclical business. The biggest challenge we face is the people challenge, the “Big Crew Change”. The people who came to oil and gas in the late 1970s and early 1980s in a mass migration have retired in droves in this downturn. There’s an opportunity to focus on new skills sets to build on 40 years of evolution.

“I’m excited by the differentiators that digitally focused generations can bring as we attempt to adapt and transform for an industry that has changed for the long-term. We must remember the lessons and operate at lower-costs even when the oil price rises, to maximise recovery and financial gains to secure a prosperous future. We’re already seeing smart solutions and the integration of new technologies. I’d encourage people to come along and join in with our discussions.”

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