Exclusive Interview with Joseph Chatta, Chief Executive, Bureau Veritas Liban SAL 

Lebanon’s nascent petroleum sector needs major investments to raise awareness about HSE, Quality Assurance and Quality Control, says Joseph Chatta, Chief Executive at Bureau Veritas Liban SAL.    
 

Bureau Veritas (BV) is a  global leader in Testing, Inspection and Certification (TIC), helping clients meet the growing challenges of quality, safety, environmental protection and social responsibility. BV’s main mission is to deliver economic value to customers, resulting in risk reduction and performance improvement.

Its vision is to become a leader in the TIC industry and a major player in each of its market segments and key geographical market, including Lebanon.     

Bureau Veritas, represented by its Lebanon branch, is a distinct sponsor of the 4th Lebanon International Oil & Gas Summit (4th LIOG-2018).  The LIOG team discussed with Joseph Chatta, Chief Executive at Bureau Veritas Liban SAL, his team’s views and aspirations about the nascent oil and gas industry Lebanon. 

How do you evaluate the potential of Lebanon’s petroleum sector? 
Typical to any start-up industry in another country, the initiation of the Lebanese petroleum sector, no doubt, entails huge opportunities throughout the lifecycle of supply. This is particularly true for the Testing, Inspection and Certification (TIC) business which is at the core of any successful and international best practice model for proper management of the offshore oil and gas industry. The involvement of International Oil Companies, such as Total and ENI, in starting the exploration and development activities in Lebanon will surely bring along the important associated role of TIC companies. 

Do you have any assessment of the required investments in the TIC sector for this nascent industry? What can drive the growth in investments? 
Although the TIC companies have been in Lebanon for several years in various sectors (building and infrastructure, power and utilities), the petroleum sector remains new and investment would be required to build and raise awareness. 

The TIC sector will be driven by the new regulations built by the Lebanese Petroleum Administration (LPA), the Ministry of Energy and Water and the Quality Assurance/ Quality Controls (QA/QC) measures of the major oil and gas companies investing currently in Lebanon.

Investments in TIC resources and manpower, drilling completion and QA/QC expertise would not only ensure the proper implementation of regulations but would also guarantee a safe operation, proper risk control measures implementation, a low security risk profile and long-term environmental sustainability.

What role can your company play in developing the oil and gas sector in Lebanon?
BV has been involved in several major oil and gas projects worldwide and we believe that adds value to the oil and gas sector in Lebanon through: 

  • Know-how and knowledge transfer to the local market through reinforcing BV presence in Lebanon
  • Sharing and benefitting the local oil and gas market through BV’s international experience. BV is collaborating closely with major oil and gas operators and governance bodies worldwide and is willing to implement its gained experience in Lebanon
  • Raising awareness and supporting operators in Lebanon in managing their assets by introducing best Asset Integrity and process safety management practices, accompanying the companies in their operational excellence journey by assisting in developing proper systems, tools and techniques, and so on
  • Minimizing downtime and maximizing efficiency by sharing over 30 years of accumulated data, drilling expertise, QA/QC experience and drilling engineering and analysis capabilities
  • Supporting local producers in order to market their products internationally through certifying their quality in Bureau Veritas laboratories. Bureau Veritas is currently operating more than 10 testing laboratories in the Middle East region
  • Increasing investors and financial institutions’ confidence and fulfill international insurance requirements through our marine warranty survey services, which would minimize the probability of incidents and downtime for a smooth project completion
  • Developing local competencies and fostering Lebanese talents through implementing Bureau Veritas’ capacity building programs
  • Increasing the sector attractiveness for foreign investors. In fact, a sector well regulated, a pool of certified talents and an audited and maintained infrastructure would encourage international involvement

How do you describe the level of awareness for your business? Do you expect an awareness issue and how does Lebanon tend to approach it?
The Lebanese petroleum sector being initiated with the participation of IOCs such as Total and ENI shall be fully aware of the roles and befit of TIC services in the overall management of the sector. We don’t expect an awareness issue in that aspect.

What are your expectations from your participation in the 4th edition of the Lebanon International Oil and Gas Summit?
The summit is a great opportunity to raise awareness about our sector, meet the stakeholders of the petroleum sector and to share our large expertise and experience in drilling completion, HSE, risk management. We believe it is the right platform to share our recommendations based on our long-term experience with major companies and in major oil and gas investments worldwide.

Based on your experience, what are your recommendations to other industry leaders? 
We believe that the current infrastructure is not suitable for the large intended projects and we would strongly recommend the industry leaders take infrastructure investments into account while planning their investments. The sector being also new to Lebanon, we would recommend them to support us in building awareness and ensuring proper implementation of quality control measures.

How do you describe the activities of your company in general and particularly in Lebanon?
Our company is a global leader in Testing, Inspection and Certification, delivering high-quality services to help you meet the growing challenges of quality, safety, environmental protection and social responsibility. We have been present in Lebanon through our Lebanese branch since 1994 and in the Middle East since early 1976. We have been a trusted partner to major oil and gas companies and local players such as Aramco, ADNOC, Total, Shell, Qatar Petroleum, ENI, BP and others,  by providing a broad range of solutions through assistance at any stage of the life cycle of an oil and gas project, from conceptual design to maintenance and operation.