Compliance deals with two major scourges. The fraud aims to circumvent rules and laws; corruption consists of offering value (money, gift, donation, participation in an election campaign) to obtain an undue advantage. Corruption and fraud include conflict of interest and insider trading. Triggering events have gradually placed compliance under the spotlight. The first is the Lockheed affair, an international scandal revealed in the mid-1970s. Then, in the early 2000s, Enron, one of the world's largest energy brokers, was involved in a major scandal for having put in place a false financial communication. The bankruptcy of Enron ($ 40 GUS) is the fourth in the history of Industry. Five years later, the world is undergoing (...)  Read More >

To follow-up safety performances, the Oil & Gas industry uses a series of KPI, each representing the level of a pyramid : the base refers to “anomalies” which consist of a collection of small safety deviations regarding equipment, methods and human behaviors. A small leak, an unclear safety perimeter in a dangerous area, a badly filled out work permit or any unsafe individual situation are all anomalies. They will be reported daily by any person working or visiting an operational site. Even if surprising for beginners, the higher the density of anomalies the better as much (...)  Read More >

Construction activities related to a large oil and gas project require significant number of personnel in the surrounding area. By contrast, the operation phase will involve relatively few personnel and will therefore generate only limited new employment opportunities. There is therefore between the end of the construction phase and the first oil, a very abrupt reduction of the workforce which can have a significant impact directly (through unemployment) and indirectly (drop of consumption of goods and services) on the local economy. De-manning represents a social risk for an oil (...)  Read More >

To meet the increasing demand for energy and replace retiring workers, major O&G industry players will need to recruit 100,000 people over the next 10 years in the upstream sector. More specifically, there will be a need for mechanical, maintenance, electrical, chemical and petroleum engineers1. Such a tight market, where skills become unbalanced with respect to demand, has two major consequences. First of all, the value of expertise and experience drastically increases as all companies try to attract the best employees. The same applies to turnover, insofar as the best experts look for (...)  Read More >

Bad postings, negative feedback in blogs or the media, horrible testimonials in popular forums and unrealistic scam allegations can potentially put a Company or a project out of business. Embarrassing questions and negative judgment from stakeholders are potentially reinforced by easy access to digital communication media and networking. Inundated by shock images and alarmist information, it is more and more difficult to convince the stakeholders with a rational speech based on facts. If the risk is restricted to its severity alone, the perception of the risk becomes irrational and naturally leads individuals to take refuge behind the principle of precaution. This irrational perception of risk may cause major (...)  Read More >

In spite of spectacular results in terms of safety and environment, major technological breakthroughs giving access to increasingly complex geological objects, despite an orchestrated effort to increase the critical mass of women and to encourage local potential from producing countries, the Oil & Gas industry still suffers of an outdated image that it has not shaken off from the golden sixties: that of an unsafe, environmentally damaging, selfish and low-tech industry unable to offer the younger generation a varied career path of promotion and lateral moves with options to help balance professional and personal life. In the 2010 ranking1, the world’s most attractive employer was Google. Microsoft was (...)  Read More >

According to the United Nations1, 83% of the 7 billion people populating the Earth are in emerging countries. When looking in greater detail at the world age pyramid, the under 30s population represents nearly half the population of emerging countries (against 29% in the developed countries) whereas 22% of the population in developed countries is aged over 65 years (against only 9% in the emerging countries). The “belly” of the pyramid (30 to 65 years) is quite similar in both cases with 44% in emerging countries against 49% in developed countries (...)  Read More >

Whereas the world population, partly decimated by the tragic epidemics of the Black plague in the Middle Ages, had increased only from 200 million to just over a billion people between the year zero and the beginning of the XIXth century, since the Industrial Revolution, it has multiplied 7-fold, to reach 7 billion people at the end of 2011. Though the demographic growth rate continued to increase after the Second World War, the trend slowed down at the end of the sixties, dropping from over 2% per year in 1967 to about 1% in 2010. Over the same period, world wealth was quadrupled, (...)  Read More >

The abundance of natural resources should theoretically be a blessing for a state to develop its economy. The OPEC countries which, since 1973, have raked in 25,000 billion dollars, should undoubtedly be the richest countries in the world. However, so far this windfall has not allowed producing countries to triumphantly climb the ladder to development. Observed in the Netherlands in the 1970s when the giant Groningen gas field was put on stream, this paradox is not specific to the 20th century or the market economy. In the 16th century, (...)  Read More >