Oman Economic Review(OER): Energy: MAXIMISING VALUE
21 October 2021
Daleel Petroleum has been working on empowering Omanis with the required skill sets and competencies. With close to 97 per cent Omanisation, Daleel Petroleum, which is the third largest oil producer in Oman, has taken the lead in Omanisation across all levels, says Mohammed Al-Darmaki, People and Support Senior Manager in an interview with Oommen John P
Can you take us through Daleel Petroleum’s plan to enable Omanis to scale new heights in their career? How successful has the company been in grooming young leaders and enhancing their skill sets?
Daleel Petroleum was established in 2002, as a joint venture between Mezoon Petrogas SAOC (subsidiary of MB Holding) and Mezoon Petrogas BVI (Subsidiary of China National Petroleum Corporation). Daleel’s main stakeholder is the Government of the Sultanate of Oman and the company operates Block 5 concession area in Al Dhahira Governorate.
Daleel started its journey by producing around 5000 barrels per day. The company’s production has increased tenfold in less than 20 years. It is currently the third largest producer in the country and the daily production has reached to 55,000 barrels per day in 2020. The company has 600 employees working in head office and on field location with the Omanisation level touching closer to 97 percent. It has been working on several plans and programmes as part of its talent management strategy such as graduate program and technician’s programmes, which are competencybased programmes. Over the last few years, we have taken an average of 50 fresh graduates and they are currently undergoing the graduate programmes. We nurture them through a structured systematic progression approach.
In addition, the company has leadership programmes for middle management and top management in line with the individual development plan. Further, the company has a well-drawn succession plan and other initiatives such as 360-degree feedback in order to address the leadership behavior. 360 Degree Feedback is a system or process in which employees receive confidential, anonymous feedback from the people who work around them.
What are the key training initiatives of the company to promote excellence?
In line with the national objective of empowering Omanis, Daleel is enabling Omanis to upskill their capabilities in their careers through internal initiatives and programmes such as graduate and leadership programmes for top and middle management cadres. Externally, the company has actively been promoting ICV, CSR and SME Development programmes that is aimed at empowering Omanis. While the industry target is 90 percent, we have exceeded that limit and as a result of that we have won the GCC Award for Nationalisation Practices and Implementations in 2019. We are working on equipping Omanis with required skills and competencies for the job market, including the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4th IR), adapting the latest innovative practices in our operations (Enhanced Oil Recovery, Ultra-thin reservoir, Business Intelligence (BI), Field SMART Portal and Online training platforms.
We have adopted succession planning and we have an average of 2 to 3 potential successors for each positions, which will minimise the risk of the business whenever someone decides to leave or retire. We have around 80 positions that are part of this succession planning and we have a detailed development plan for the potential successors. We are also preparing the young graduates to become future leaders by enrolling them into different type of programmes. We have other programmes for the middle management and we are also enrolling our senior people to the worldwide well known universities in the UK such as London Business School (LBS) to enrich their leadership skills.
Daleel promote excellence through communicating its four values which are empowerment, safety, operational excellence and business drive. It also has a robust job competency profile and matrixes for all jobs in addition to a well-defined leadership framework for all levels. Further, it has a culture of empowerment, trust and delegation and a clear process for change management, continuous improvements, and artificial intelligence and so on.
What are the company Corporate Social Responsibilities focus areas?
Daleel is a corporate member in the Omani Society and it has contributed to the community development since it was established. We mostly are focusing in the area and community around Al Dhahira Governorate where block 5 is located. We play a significant role that can support Oman's 2040 vision by focusing on aspects like Training & Education, Innovation, Renewable Energy, Social contribution, Healthcare, and Environment.
We have sponsored different projects over the last few years that include but not limited to COVID-19 donation, Job Security Fund, Renovation of old vegetable and fruit market in Ibri, Dhank fish market, building slaughter house in Yanqul, developing common walkways, solar energy for early intervention center, educational projects, providing health Institutions with the required medical equipment and others.
COVID-19 has had its impact on companies globally. What were the key learnings and how has the company ensured business continuity and safety of employees? “
Because of COVID-19, the demand for oil decreased and thus oil prices collapsed during 2020. Therefore, the company has to deal with two crises at the same time like any other oil operators. The oil and gas sector is very crucial for the nation and at early stages, Daleel worked hard to come up with clear guidelines on how to deal with such emergencies and ensuring business continuity. There were no lay-offs neither in Daleel nor in its business partners (contractor). We also ensured that policies were in place to ensure business continuity through remote working for office based employees. On the other hand, Daleel also had a bio-bubble environment to minimize the risk of COVID-19 infection and ensure uninterrupted work in the field along with, PCRs tests for every shift change and longer shift rotation in order to reduce the likelihood of people’s interactions and therefore containing the spread of the virus in the filed location.
In fact, what used to be a normal practices for business where no longer the case during the pandemic (e.g meetings, trainings, workshop in the closed room). Daleel has prepared itself earlier with various tools, which are more resilience to change. The technology has enabled employees to carry out their duties remotely. With these tools, precautions and controls Daleel has managed to cross COVID-19 chasm without noticeable impact to the business”
As one of the leading oil producing companies in the Sultanate, what are the expansions planned in the years ahead?
Daleel Petroleum operates in Block 5 and despite the small size of the block; the company’s portfolio is rich with several growth projects that are in the process of maturing either through studies or through new technologies. For example, the company is expanding on its EOR initiatives in the next five years after successful implementation of the pilot plan. In terms of expansion, the company intends to continue its exploration and appraisals prgramme. Daleel has been producing and exploring the area with a lot of successful discoveries in the recent years. At Daleel Petroleum, our vision is to maximise the potential of our assets and pursue new opportunities while building on our successful track record.
Daleel in collaboration with various institutes and universities around the world either locally or internationally has been working to unlock the potential of some of the difficult reservoir that it has within Block 5. In addition, there are also some experiments that the company is engaged with SQU that is related to Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) and also to expand some of the difficult and more expensive oil. We are also exploring options to increase our activities to take advantage of the rising and attractive oil prices.