So somehow the year has jumped from January to July in the blink of an eye and my hopes to escape the isles of Great Britain for a brief minute seem distant hopes and dreams at best. Whilst the specifics of England’s travel rules are only relevant to those Englishmen reading this comment, the overarching theme and confusion will resonate internationally.
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The rumoured ‘golden ticket’ nature of being double vaccinated; the fact there is a different rule set by one’s home country on all the other 194 countries in the world; and the irritation that on one day you may be fine to go abroad, e.g. to Lisbon, Portugal, and the next the government has changed its mind and you are now knees deep in flight vouchers for the several city breaks you had planned and no longer are going ahead. I speak from experience. Moreover, these flight vouchers remind me of Monopoly money, you almost forget you have actually already paid for them and one day will be scrolling long into your email inbox in search of these crucial 8 digit reference codes that are now waylaid and likely expired. It is the unknown, kept-in-the dark confusion of all things travel that makes it easy to understand why the Gastech 2021 event has moved location from Singapore to Dubai in September this year. I do commend the event organisers for keeping the event physical – albeit it now 3625 miles to a new destination – and not online, because some face to face contact between LNG professionals after months of video call interaction will definitely stir up some exciting interaction and new prospects in the industry.
In the coming months as, fingers crossed, the world introduces more flexibility and freedom, our work and personal lives will take on a new version of themselves. While speaking with a client last week they mentioned how “COVID has no time.” He has found himself in virtual meetings at 10pm, 2am, and 7am on a frequent basis. COVID-19 essentially has removed time zone barriers and the hassle of organising rendezvous points for those necessary social calls. There’s swings and roundabouts with everything – a 2am meeting sounds anything but fun, though to switch on your computer in your house and instantaneously be at the meeting makes it undeniably convenient. A work from home novelty that shall surely be incorporated into companies as routines change and new normalities are determined.
To prevent this comment becoming a proclamation of my enjoyment of work from home life and my failure to book any successful holidays this year, let me direct you to the insightful articles this issue has on offer. Adapting to the pandemic, Technip Energies (p.49) outlines the solutions for collaborative operator training, utilising virtual reality and digital simulators in a time when training cannot always take place on-site. On a similar note, when considering the need for LNG operators to keep their workforce safe, Cyberhawk (p.52) explains how drone technology can enable LNG infrastructure to be inspected with precision without endangering the workforce.
Over the last 18 or so months, the stories of LNG companies and their employees adapting and achieving while in times of the unknown have been encouraging to hear. If you have a project success story to share or a creative solution to a problem being encountered in the LNG sector, I would love to hear from you so do get in touch.