Throughout this year, the price of crude oil has risen more than it has dropped, but since June 2014, the drop has been staggering (circa 66% ) and it has impacted the oil, gas and energy industry in a plethora of ways in the global market. More recently in the United Arab Emirates, we have seen a little uptick in business, though it is still a far cry from full recovery.
Eye to the future
Diversification from oil and gas has not taken the strides that are necessary for it immediately to be felt, though a concerted effort is being made, with the ever-present eye to the future that the United Arab Emirates has become known for.
Competencies in the U.A.E.
The market however, is strained, often attributed to the decisions made within the ADNOC Group of companies to reduce the workforce substantially, which is still ongoing, in waves throughout this year. Many of the contracts are not being renewed, often through immigration stops or visa regulations, effectively resulting in both a significant drain of skills and competencies in the U.A.E. but also at the same time, restructuring the companies to work more efficiently in some cases.
These decisions ensure that companies can enforce stability by holding back on large projects that would normally be performed, and national market is left with a market suddenly searching for work wherever it can.
Material over personnel
What does this mean for Quercus International’s branch in Abu Dhabi? An increased need to include our inspection and consultancy services on top of the existing training services, as managerial attitudes towards the management of employee competencies are often lead departments or entire companies to allocate resources to the material and equipment side of things, rather than the people who operate them.
A challenge in this business has always been to convince those in charge to invest in their employees and to ensure that on the human side, your business is reliable, efficient, and most of all, safe.
And if the market wishes to favour investing in its material assets over its personnel, then we need to make sure that we provide the reliability, efficiency and safety that this provides, through our technical inspections, maintenance and our other consultancy services.
Invest in people
With or without an oil price decline, having the newest, most expensive and well-maintained equipment and installations mean nothing if you do not have people to run it, who truly know what they are doing. Such people will always be worth investing in.