During a live interview hosted by the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE), PESA President Leslie Beyer fielded questions from “Flipping the Barrel” podcast hosts Jamie Elrod and Massiel Diez around challenges for OFS and current PESA efforts to support members.
Beyer began by sharing background on PESA, the national trade association for oilfield services and equipment providers, explaining the Association’s focus is to advocate and support members on issues on their behalf. This is done in three different areas: Train, targeting workforce development and best practice sharing; Elevate, focused OFS advocacy in government affairs, education about OFS at the state and federal level; and Network, bringing members together to collaborate and gain market intelligence.
These three tenets, especially in the current environment, have been critical for the sector, and the Association has shifted its value proposition to members, focusing on collaboration, best practice sharing and advocacy. Beyer discussed the challenges in the ever-shifting operating environment, noting the struggle to quickly react and keep up with the sector’s changes and regulations updates.
“In order to keep up with these changes, we are bringing our members together weekly to develop best practices around various issues in the current operating environment, so everyone in the OFS sector can play from the same sheet of music,” she said.
As for advocacy, Beyer stressed the importance of advocacy for OFS at the state and federal level, especially as stimulus packages are developed.
[su_quote cite=”PESA President Leslie Beyer”]“In the U.S. alone, there are over 500,000 jobs in the energy supply chain. It’s imperative to ensure our sector is included in any stimulus packages, as we represent most of the jobs that the government is trying to save. This is where we can advocate on behalf of our members.”[/su_quote]
Related to its engagement in the nation’s capitol and developing relationships with lawmakers, PESA Members attend the yearly Washington D.C. Fly-In, and invite local elected officials to tour their manufacturing facilities. PESA also has a long-standing relationship and contract with the U.S. State Department to train foreign and civil service officers in the technology behind the oil and gas industry. This training and education helps them to make decisions at their various posts that support the industry. It also gives PESA’s global members a contact at embassies around the world.
Beyer was asked how the Association tackles having various competing companies not only in its member base but on the PESA Board and Advisory Board. She explained that the goal is to come together on behalf of the sector and raise it as a whole, thereby raising the individual companies as well. The Association also follows an anti-trust policy which is cited in all meetings and events, ensuring no information is shared around customers, propriety products or pricing. Maintaining these compliance guidelines keeps everyone on track and allows for leadership to share best practices freely.
Environmental, social and governance (ESG) was addressed next, and Beyer shared her thoughts on the criticality of ESG, especially during these challenging times. She stressed how managing workforce safety and maintaining transparent communications during the current COVID-19 environment is an ESG issue. Reporting metrics and positive developments in environmental stewardship, focusing on support for their workforce and communities, and targeting diverse leadership within their organizations will not only benefit each company’s bottom line but make them more attractive to ESG-minded investors.
She also highlighted the OFS role in supporting stated climate goals by many operators. Many customers will rely on their service providers to assist in meeting those goals, and the OFS companies who have invested in technology and supply chain diversity will be well-positioned.
[su_quote cite=”PESA President Leslie Beyer”]“As we come out of this crisis, the companies that really focus on the entire enterprise through an ESG lens will be the ones that come out stronger.” [/su_quote]
PESA has an ESG Committee as well as an ESG Center of Excellence and continues to build upon its knowledge-sharing program, which includes everything from how to report to how to begin an ESG program within an organization. “Having a great ESG program in place can be a competitive advantage,” she said.
Looking at the current status of OFS jobs, Beyer was asked her thoughts on the future of the sector’s workforce. She discussed the importance of consolidation in the sector and the inevitability of a leaner workforce. Personnel development will be key and enhancing technologies throughout the sector will help advance OFS and drive efficiencies. Beyer reassured the audience that oil and gas certainly has a future in any transition to a lower-carbon future, and that the focus will need to be on recruiting talent to ensure our industry is a key player and source for technical solutions.
The conversation then turned to inclusion and diversity, an area in which PESA is very active. Three years ago, the Association’s Inclusion & Diversity Committee partnered with Accenture to conduct a first of its kind OFS diversity study as a means to develop metrics around gender diversity in oilfield services. This study eventually complied demographic data on 250,000 oilfield services employees globally, creating a baseline for PESA to start tracking and measuring our progress towards a more diverse OFS workforce.
The result from that study showed 15% female representation in the sector, which although low, was a starting point for the committee. Once the data was pulled together, recommendations were made and a toolkit was rolled out to members as a tool to build more robust I&D programs. PESA also tracks diversity within the committees, attracting diverse candidates to chair committees and creating a pipeline from there to the Advisory Board and Board of Directors.
[su_quote cite=”PESA President Leslie Beyer”]“I cannot tell you how happy I am with our progress toward a more diverse Board of Directors. PESA is 87 years old and has historically lagged in diversity. I have been working since I got here six years ago to attract diverse leadership to the Board, and we are definitely getting there.”[/su_quote]
Beyer went on to speak about an Inclusion and Diversity Certification Program which was launched this year. Participants will receive a certification in the end signifying that they have the tools to build strong I&D programs within their companies.
“I’m just so proud of it, because when we are able to attract diverse candidates, the sector will be on the right path,” said Beyer.
When asked about job-specific initiatives for those laid off during the crisis, Beyer made clear that through the remainder of the year those PESA Members who have been laid off can continue to be active members, participating in committees, remote networking and development opportunities, and hopefully, in the near future, attend in-person events.
The interview wrapped with a question to Beyer about what OFS companies can be focusing on right now, not only to survive but to thrive.
[su_quote cite=”PESA President Leslie Beyer”]“You can never discount U.S. ingenuity and innovation. We are the sector that brought the world the Shale Revolution! Companies who invest in R&D, automation, digitalization and continue to innovate will eventually attract capital. That is what is going to help organizations survive and then be in a better position when this is over.” [/su_quote]