Mike Bethea, Offshore Technical Compliance, outlines the company’s strategy of resilience during the pandemic, political upheavals and natural disasters that have characterized the past twelve months.
Those of us that reside in the Gulf Coast region can add floods, hurricanes and ice storms to the backdrop of a global pandemic that has impacted every aspect of our daily lives. Some of our employees and their nearest and dearest have endured sickness and loss (in its many forms) throughout 2020 and 2021. As a company, we strive to be supportive of our family of employees in their times of need in whatever ways we can.
Our COVID-19 policy remains consistent with local, state and federal guidelines, and mandates quarantine for anyone that exhibits the symptoms described by the CDC. In conjunction with this, we have encouraged and supported a great number of employees to work from home, many of whom will continue to do so once the pandemic has passed. We are fortunate that we have had no communicable cases of COVID-19 occur on an OTC work site to date.
An era of adjustment
Like most service providers, we have adjusted our training and services to help our clients through the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and our plans have been designed to complement our clients’ operations. In some locations across the globe, a 10 to 14 day quarantine is mandatory for anyone going offshore, which in turn drives up the costs of service delivery. In these situations, ensuring critical workers are vaccinated will be the key to lowering these costs. We are constantly acclimatizing to this new landscape, and what we are learning now will stand us in good stead for the future, should similar events reoccur.
As if these challenges weren’t enough for our industry, the current moratorium on new oil and gas leases on federal lands and waters will shift the focus off O&G exploration in the United States and onto other parts of the world. So, in our spirit of adaptability, OTC’s challenge will be to shift in step that new focus, concentrating on building our service offerings globally. Of course, if the moratorium is extended into permanent policy, it will decimate our domestic oil and gas industry. This will drive up oil prices and create dependence on foreign oil to meet domestic needs. We are hopeful, however, that common sense will prevail.
Facing up to 2021
My best advice to clients looking ahead into 2021 with trepidation, is to ask us to be a part of the solution. Far too many decisions are made without consideration of how service providers might be able to help reduce costs. Fortunately, our attitude is, ‘where there is will, there is a way.’ For example, we may want to share in the risk on projects in exchange for a larger payment after the conclusion of a project, or we may be able to provide additional services with our existing personnel to lower POB. We also believe there is wisdom in simplification. I see companies spending large sums of money on complex systems to meet regulatory requirements when simpler solutions will suffice at much lower cost.
As always, we have strategic partnerships in place that enable us to bundle services. When that strategy is combined with our in-house operational expertise, it remains an unbeatable combination. Quite simply, if you have drilling, completions, workover or decommissioning activities, we can help you lower your costs.
The key to surviving and thriving
Like most service providers, we have streamlined in order to survive this moment in our industry. This has been achieved through a combination of digitization and restructuring our business model. Surviving as a business in 2021 will continue to require constant reassessment and modification as well as uncovering new opportunities both domestically and globally.
Fortunately, OTC has always operated like a startup company, and that entrenched mentality keeps us tough and focused. The biggest positive to emerge from the recent few months is seeing how our employees and leadership have responded during each and every challenge that has come our way. Every OTC team member has pulled together to do their part, and for that I am grateful and proud.