Happy New Year! After months of build-up and predictions about the year ahead, 2015 is finally here and the oil and gas industry is being confronted by major challenges. The business which we all know to be cyclical experienced a sharp downturn in recent months and 2014 ended on a rather pessimistic note.
The atmosphere is not ideal, as the ripples of falling oil prices are now being felt by everyone in the industry. But this is a New Year and certain traditions around this time could galvanise many of us to get to work and put the power back into oil and gas.
A lot of us make resolutions in our personal lives for the year ahead and we often struggle to stick to them because we go in alone. Studies have shown time and time again that we are more likely to accomplish something with the support of those around us. Quitting smoking is easier if we do it with a friend, we lose weight when we exercise with friends who challenge us and motivate us, book clubs can encourage us to get round to reading that stack of books we bought during summer; we know that asking for and giving help makes us better. So why don’t we apply that to our work lives?
This New Year, the North Sea oil and gas businesses should make an industry wide resolution to communicate and work together, rather than go it alone without considering our peers. Challenging conventions and being bold has never been more important.
Purse strings have already been tightened across operators and services companies. Pay cuts have hit contractors and staff alike and with salary freezes on many business plans too – 2015 is already looking like one of toughest periods we’ve faced.
The North Sea industry has been very lucky over the past few years though. Where many other businesses have been on the edge, our region has flourished and investment remained steady. Now we find ourselves in a dip and predicting our climb back up is proving tricky.
But we can be confident that we will recover, even though it will take a lot of work to do so. 2015 is starting on a low, but we will finish on a high.