Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone. - Pablo Picasso, Spanish painter/sculptor, 1881-1973

It’s Time To Look at the Horizon

“Opening our sails” is a metaphor that the worst of the storm has passed or is passing, and it is time to get our-selves shipshape, making necessary repairs and preparations, and get back on course. As individuals, and certainly as SPE, we must be ready to cautiously open our sails. The pandemic may be at or near its peak, and despite relatively strong economic performance in most sec-tors, we know that the global economy remains fragile. As an industry, we don’t have the luxury of waiting. We must provide energy and feedstock in advance of global needs, so it is time to get busy and plan not for what was but for what will be.

The energy map, meaning the needs, resources, economies, and priorities of the world, is changing. The oil and gas industry will continue to adapt, but as I have mentioned many times, the need for the service we provide is greater now than ever before. We need to be prepared for both increasing demand and public apathy for what we do. This is nothing new, and capital investments in oil and gas should begin to increase as we enter the new year. Perhaps not at the rates we saw during the “shale revolution,” but investors know how essential we are to a strong global economy and will act accordingly.

I believe Picasso was right. We must develop the discipline to sacrifice for our passions completely, for what we are doing is too important to wait and too important to sleep. Person-ally, I have a compulsive need to serve and to create. The service part probably came from having older parents who came from, let’s say, very modest circumstances, and the creative part perhaps from the desire to take things apart and put them back together with the fewest possible parts left over. I mention this because each of us has an artist, a writer, an engineer, a doctor, and maybe even a mad scientist inside them. And each of us has our own compulsions. In the post-pandemic, we need to channel that same discipline that Picasso implies. Our passions are our compass, and our energy derives from our compulsion to fulfill those passions.

My challenge to you, as an industry, is to align your passions. Someone recently told me that the pandemic had provided us the opportunity of a generation to realign our priorities. I believe it is the opportunity of a lifetime. We can choose to fear the future, or we can create it. It is that simple.

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