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Interview

Moss Daemi, Director MENA & India, divisional office oil & gas, DNV GL, Qatar

Moss Daemi explains DNV GL’s next generation energy efficiency methodology, a novel approach that overcomes the challenges of assessing on-board energy efficiency in a consistent manner.

Less than a year ago, an agreement was signed to merge DNV and GL. What was the idea behind this merger, and what does this bring to your international standing?

Our name is new, but our company is backed by 150 years of deep industry experience. In September 2013, DNV and GL Noble Denton joined forces to bring greater expertize and enhanced innovation capabilities to our  customers. We formed DNV GL – Oil & Gas because we had a vision to draw upon our proud heritages to build an industry-leading technical advisor that could drive innovation and standardization on behalf of the whole sector.

In terms of our international standing, we have almost tripled in size as a result of the merger. The new company, formally called DNV GL Group, includes 16,000 employees across 300 sites in more than 100 countries. Together, DNV and GL Noble Denton have become the leading provider of the risk management technical advisory and technical assurance services to the oil and gas industry.

What has been the impact of the merger between DNV and GL across the MENA region?

DNV and GL were in fact quite complementary in terms of growth strategy. Driven by its purpose of safeguarding life, property and the environment, DNV GL enables organizations to advance the safety and sustainability of their business. We provide classification and technical assurance services along with software and independent expert advisory services to the maritime, oil and gas and energy industries. We also provide certification services to customers across a wide range of industries. We are deeply dedicated to helping our customers to make the world safer, smarter and greener.

The Middle East, India and North Africa region, which accounts for over half the world’s proven oil reserves and more than a third of the world’s gas reserves, has energy high on its agenda and carries a great vision for its overall social and economic development. Nevertheless, this does not come without challenges and the region’s oil and gas industry is facing an increasingly complex geography, high reservoir temperature and pressure, sour gas and unconventional gas. We established our presence in the MENA region over 40 years ago and will continue to support the oil and gas industry here to make it safer and more reliable and at the same time to enhance its performance.
DNV bases its success on North Sea expertize. Which lessons are exportable to the Middle East? What makes the relation with the Gulf region, and specifically Qatar, unique for DNV?

When it comes to expertize, it is simple and easy: what we provide is assurance to the industry, regardless of whether that is in Norway, Sweden, Qatar, the UAE, or Oman. In Qatar, a huge number of facilities are new or relativity new. But, at the same time, Qatar is entering the next stage, as facilities turn 20 years old. In the larger region, the average age for offshore facilities is at around 30 to 40 years old. That’s means that the oil and gas industry will go through a phase were it has to create a much bigger focus on asset integrity within the Gulf area. Safety is obviously part of it, but at the same time, from a business point of view you want to make sure that your operations are able to continue without any major issues.

Another aspect to take into consideration is that within the increase of the cost of capital investments in equipment, operators are now very keen to maximize the utilization of their facilities – whatever is new or ageing. We are definitely moving into that phase where there are number of factors which will require the involvement of a company like DNV GL to provide structure integrity, feasibility studies, assessment of offshore facilities, assessment of top site facilities, and then can consult with the operator on the resultant requirements. As you can see, being an independent advisor does create its own advantages.

What you can learn in the Middle East that could provide extra value to other regions where DNV GL operates?

Understanding the culture within national oil companies is essential in order to be able to improve the industry, as they are often key driver of a government and at the end, a country. It is a very different business model to the IOC. We are not talking about a purely profit-driven entity: these companies are providing 80 or 90 percent of the revenues of their countries. All the social fabric of the country, everything else is interlinked into the strategy of the National Oil Company as it moves forward. This culture is something that we, as foreign companies, can learn from. Apart from that, we can also have a look the impact of their social programs, which can be replicated on others parts of the world.

In your opinion, where does Qatar stand today when it comes to HSE?

Qatar is now looking at different and very interesting number of things. Among others, H.E. Al Sada and government authorities are looking at repositioning HSE, and setting new regulatory requirements for the oil and gas industry not only to meet minimum standards, but to achieve and maintain a high standard of safety and operations. On top of that, it is about making sure that environment is protected.

At the end of the day, we shouldn’t forget that Qatar is pioneering these HSE developments, and that is something that will eventually be emulated by other countries in the region, which speaks for itself when it comes to the Qatari government showing initiative when it comes to policy.

DNV GL recently introduced the “next generation energy efficiency methodology.” What does this consist of specifically? How important is innovation for DNV GL?

DNV GL, unlike most other organizations in our field, allocates a part of its revenue into innovation. We allocate up to 5 percent of our revenue purely to innovation, training and all the necessary elements related to advancing the technology required to improve the oil and gas sector. Innovation is what makes us stand out.

The next generation energy efficiency methodology is a novel approach that overcomes the challenges of assessing on-board energy efficiency in a consistent manner. As a result, priorities for improvement can be determined accurately. In the report released early this year, DNV GL answered the question: How can a ship manager identify the biggest sources of useful energy that are currently being wasted on their ships?

Ship operations and environmental legislation have become more complex, and it has become increasingly difficult to assess or even define efficiency with consistency and accuracy. Therefore our Strategic Research and Innovation division revisited the basic and universal laws of thermodynamics to develop a methodology based on energy, sometimes called available energy, which is a metric for describing the maximum useful energy that can be derived from a process, component or system.

The methodology can be adjusted to suit new builds still in the design phase or operating ships, and it is designed to help managers make the most out of their Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plans. Using both on board measurements and the DNV GL modelling suite COSSMOS, energy losses throughout the ship including hull, propulsion power train, machinery and electrical systems are quantified and ranked. Even difficult-to-capture processes such as throttling and fluid mixing can be incorporated.

With this ‘common currency’ for efficiency, DNV GL provides a way of energy management that will work for all ships, and all system and components that convert energy on board. It thus offers ship managers an unparalleled way of prioritizing investment in technology alternatives or new operational strategies.

What projects are you working on in collaboration with the industry?

DNV GL combines the in-depth technical expertise of our people, our customers and a range of industry stakeholdersto create joint industry project teams that deliver ground-breaking oil and gas industry practices.  We invest in developing industry standards and technologies because they are crucial to our customers’ aims of continuously improving the safety, reliability and performance of their projects and operations.

For generations we have collaborated with the oil and gas sector’s best-known operators, suppliers, regulators and industry bodies to develop and maintain industry best practices. We bring together the sector’s leading minds to apply specialized knowledge and experience, and to tackle specific industry challenges; from developing safer approaches to sour gas productions, to enhancing offshore production in mature oil fields.

Our joint industry projects vary by size, complexity and number of partner organizations, but they all have one common goal: to solve a specific technical need and, where possible, to develop a new standard or technology that benefits the industry at large. Many of the sector’s best known and most widely adopted practices are the outcome of this work.

By aligning forces as a part of a joint industry project, we are able to safely improve business performance and drive innovation as an entire industry, rather than as individual players. Our project partners are able to feed into the initial project scope of work, and will have access to and input into all the research and development undertaken as part of the project’s execution.

If we come back to the region in three years, where do you hope to bring DNV GL across the Middle East?

Safety is good business. If within the region, the industry is doing well, it will be more confident to invest. If the industry is willing to invest, service providers like DNV GL are more than happy to work. It is a win-win situation from every single side.

In that scenario, I would like to see DNV GL as the partner of choice. We think that, in our areas of expertise that span the entire oil and gas industry, we can truly provide a total solution to our clients. We have all the resources available in one center. We have 16,000 employees across 300 sites in more than 100 countries that provides a huge range of expertize and know how. We dedicate ourselves to making the world safer, smarter and greener.

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