Stakeholders in the global energy market need to work more collaboratively to shore up the market’s resilience in the face of the economic and supply chain disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Andrew Laven, Chief Operating Officer, Sahara Energy Resources DMCC, Dubai has said.
Laven explored some of the key lessons from the pandemic for the energy market in an article for leading trade publication Energy Voice, under the title “Finding the new norms in the post-COVID supply chain”. Laven’s Sahara Energy Resources DMCC, Dubai is an affiliate of energy conglomerate Sahara Group which has operations in Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East.
Laven said: “The path to recovery is likely to be bumpy and everywhere will be moving at a different pace, so more of a wide U-shape than a quick V. Whatever the path, the oil will be a critical element of the recovery. Even though there is not much we can do to stimulate demand, the sector must prepare for recovery: positioning all aspects of the value chain to supply energy to countries, communities, and individuals.”
According to Laven, the market needs to brace up for a shift in consumption, following the disruptions caused by the pandemic. “A shift in consumption – for example, more driving, less flying – will see demand for products change. Refineries may need to change the way they operate and produce different proportions of each fuel, which may see some refineries unable to operate economically and being forced to close. Where things change, though, there are also opportunities for new energies – when demand starts to pick up maybe the world will use it as an opportunity to take a step towards cleaner energies,” he stated.
Laven argued that given experiences from previous market disruptions, he was certain that the market would “bounce back”, especially when all stakeholders work together to achieve the “greater good” for all.
“The oil market is exceptionally robust and will bounce back, but it would be a mistake to miss this opportunity to learn from the current challenges and build greater resilience in our supply chains for the future. In this area, we are happy to lead by example. Resilience has always been a part of Sahara Group’s approach across the African continent, building a business that learns from the market conditions in order to adapt to and meet current requirements and changing circumstances,” he added.