1 Feb 2021
Meet Kevin Robertson, our new Middle East Regional Manager. Kevin is responsible for maintaining our strong presence in the region, building on current relationships and identifying new opportunities for revenue growth.
Based in Aberdeen, Kevin brings over 20 years’ sector experience with him to DCT, gained from working in the international oil and gas industry, specifically within tubulars, drilling and completions. From Saudi Arabia to Bangkok, Kevin has a strong track record of building teams and departments from the ground up, working hard to expand global operations.
What attracted you to this position at Deep Casing Tools?
As a small but global independent company, Deep Casing Tools is very agile and allows its employees to have a creative say in the business, letting all voices be heard. I was excited by its fantastic portfolio of innovative tools that are helping industry achieve remarkable efficiencies and overcome the complex well challenges that drilling teams face today.
In your last job, you worked with Weatherford in the Middle East. How did the oil and gas industry adapt to the global pandemic in the region?
The pandemic took the major companies by surprise. Evidence of this is seen on LinkedIn where unfortunately so many people have been made redundant, especially from these big players. As operations practically stopped early last year on a global scale, it revealed the companies who were operating beyond their means and exposed them to vulnerability.
As we go into an unknown 'new normal', many meetings and presentations are now via video conferencing software, which means virtual meetings are here to stay. This does ensure interaction is on-going and everyone stays safe, but there is nothing like face-to-face interaction to build client and agent relations – something that I will miss.
Throughout your career so far, what have been your highlights?
A highlight that stands out for me is building two departments from the ground up while working in Thailand. I then took them to their first international job, which was in Japan, within 12 months of operations. I am proud the department still exists and remains to be run by the local talent I hired and trained, and I still enjoy seeing the business thrive.
You’ve worked in some of the major oil hubs around the world, including Saudi Arabia. What major differences do you see between Middle East and European markets?
The sheer volume of work In Saudi speaks for itself. However, the major consideration when working between the two markets is the complexity of cultures and understanding how those elements play out in business. Having worked overseas around the world, one thing I always love to learn about in depth from the locals is their culture. If you aren’t properly prepared and educated on the culture, performing operations can prove tricky. An example of this is the holy month of Ramadan, where the productivity of workers declines due to shorter working hours and changes in behaviour – if you weren’t aware of this, you’d have a problem.
The Middle East is a region on its own, however each country within that region is very different - albeit the only common factor is Arabic language, which also has regional dialects.
With sustainability at the top of the agenda for most within industry, how do you think well technologies will need to adapt to fit into a low carbon economy?
Efficiencies are key to the industry achieving sustainable operations as we strive to achieve ambitious climate goals. Saving time offshore and at the well can directly correlate to emissions reduction, something that Deep Casing Tools’ technologies were engineered with in mind. Another key element to sustainable operations would be remote tooling, which reduces the need for people to travel to location. This trend is being adopted by many companies where they are using robo-rigs that are fully autonomous and unmanned.
I also think well technology companies need to look closer in how to reuse old parts. In the past, when new parts are required to be installed, old parts are traditionally scrapped. Reusing these parts in the creation of something new would cut down on waste and open up new opportunities for small businesses who use these materials.
In previous positions where we held a large fleet of trucks, used tyres would pile up as waste. Now, these obsolete tyres are given to a small business where they melt them down and separate the materials. These products are then sold back into industry, reusing waste in a sustainable way.
As you know, we are founded on the philosophy of ‘Simple Innovation’. What does that mean to you?
In previous years, major service companies would acquire small independent firms due to their unique product or idea. However, when they are integrated into these larger corporate companies, the small, simple ideas get lost and forgotten.
This business model has slowed in the last 7-10 years, and we are now seeing the smaller private companies maintain market share, alongside the larger companies, with innovative products that bridge the gaps in operational needs. These gap fillers represent the tools that enable industry to achieve time and cost savings based on simple mechanical principles – simple innovation.
Meet the rest of our team here.