Egypt’s digital futureAugust 19, 2020
Mona Al Adawy, managing director of GeoEnergy Petroleum Services, talks to The Energy Year about changes in doing business caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and the future of digitalisation in Egypt and the region. GeoEnergy Petroleum Services provides E&P data management services, training, consulting and geoscience software to the oil and gas industry.
How resilient is Egypt’s energy industry?
Now is not a good time for local services companies. Big ones can survive, but the small ones are being hit hard by the crisis. There is unfortunately not enough support, even from clients. Since March 2020, most of the companies have delayed payments. Not every services company can survive under those conditions. However, Egypt will be prepared to do business more flexibly and increase production based on agreements, especially with ExxonMobil and Chevron.
How has the pandemic affected GeoEnergy Petroleum Services’ activities?
GeoEnergy is lucky because we worked with the Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, executing a project related to digital data. The Upstream Gateway project is being undertaken by the ministry and Schlumberger. We made a service agreement with Schlumberger to provide the digital transformation process related to exploration and production data for the ministry. We began in mid-March doing tape transcriptions and scanning all information. Once completed, all data will be available online anywhere for clients wanting to invest in Egypt through the Schlumberger platform.
Once the crisis started, all training and consulting jobs were cancelled except jobs that can be done remotely. Our geoscience software segment saw a reduction of about 50% in contracts because of the oil price.
We are now rethinking our model of training delivery. Egyptian culture does not work well with 100% online training, especially for scientific topics. Our sales and business development teams are working to blend learning solutions, with some parts online and other parts in offline workshops. After the crisis, digital transformation will be mandatory.
Is the Egyptian market ready to embrace digitalisation?
Egypt is partially prepared. In the last three years, companies started digital preparation of data to increase production. As oil prices were relatively high in previous years, they were not pressed to develop these efficiencies. However, with the pandemic and low oil prices, the ministry and oil companies are making sure they are prepared for future comedowns.
The ministry and government have been very concerned about digital transformation for three years. It will give a different shape to the administration and various government bodies. There is aggressive digital transformation everywhere.
What segments will the company focus on after the Covid-19 crisis?
Before the pandemic, we focused on a diversified set of services. Going forward, we will focus more on digital transformation as there will be more in this area in the next five years. Geographically speaking, we believe that the digitalisation of the African markets is a solid long-term goal. We see Africa as the future for delivering digital transformation services as well as training and consultancy services related to oil and gas.
- From the field
- From the field