Special issue


Covid-19 pandemic has brought unprecedented challenges to economies, industries and individuals around the world. AccessWIE is pursuing a new initiative to showcase the experience of its members across the energy industry worldwide, in dealing with the crisis. Despite the common challenge, the stories highlight different perspectives, circumstances and outlook. We hope you enjoy this colourful tour du monde of experiences.

Dr Fernanda Delgado

Professor and Strategic Advisor– FGV Energia

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

The beginning of the pandemic was lighter and more pleasant, reconciling household duties, making meals with my daughter, being available all the time. No physical interaction but a lot of contact and affection via web.

The last months have been more challenging and tiring. To return to some level of normality would be good. Let’s see what the future will bring us with vaccination and new possibilities. We will keep on, because the vector should always be progressive.

Gavin Graham

Former CEO, LOTOS Upstream

West Sussex, United Kingdom

“Outside work I decided to face up to the challenge posed by my four daughters, who believed that I had spent much of the last 40 years destroying the planet and should now spend some time putting it back together again. No bad idea, my daughters tell me, to begin at home. And as they say: ‘a crisis is a terrible thing to waste’.”

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Barbara Andoh

Policy Advisor, Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency, GIZ

Accra, Ghana

I have had to be intentional about seeing the good in the situation and making the most out of it. I have read a lot about renewable energy and energy efficiency and delved deeper into understanding power sector economics. I also picked up on other areas of interest particularly project management. I was excited to be involved in a COVID 19 energy efficiency awareness campaign: a drive that sensitized citizens on better ways of using of energy while at home.

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Angelos Gkanoutas-Leventis

Associate Originator, BP

London, United Kingdom

” “Apologies, my camera is not working, can you please give me 2’ minutes to connect with my phone”

… and then I run into the bedroom, grabbed the first shirt and blazer I could lay my hands on and quickly changed into what would be considered in the old world as a more acceptable ‘business’ attire before logging back into the meeting. True story… which I believe must feel very familiar to a lot of Gen Y and Z’ers out there.”

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Diana Kaissy

Executive Director, The Lebanese Oil and Gas Initiative-LOGI

Beirut, Lebanon

“The pandemic’s impact was not only felt at this level. Coupled with a continued economic and financial meltdown in Lebanon that was blown, literally, out of proportion by the now infamous Beirut Port explosion on August the 4th, COVID19’s inevitable effect extended to the nascent oil and gas sector. However, and amidst all the chaos of this year, I was able to plan a mountain getaway and mix some oil and gas governance with pottery painting. Judging on the outcome of my pottery, I think I will hold back on shifting from careers.”

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Dr Victoria Nalule

Research Fellow, CEPMLP, University of Dundee

Dundee, United Kingdom

“Life can throw at us lemons (such as this COVID-19 Pandemic), but it is up to us to make lemonade out of these bitter lemons! It has been a difficult period, but I have tried as much as possible to stay positive and productive.”

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Laury Haytayan

MENA Director, Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI)

Beirut, Lebanon

“Good management of the oil and gas sector is a tough job and advising governments and oversight bodies is tough too. So, I wanted to keep the resemblance, therefore I decided that whatever I’m cooking should be tough cooking and I started with stuffed vine leaves with lamp chops- Lebanese specialty from the North of Lebanon. And why from the North because the first exploratory drilling was supposed to happen on the northern part of Lebanon so I wanted to commemorate that with a menu from the North!!”

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Lord Howell of Guildford

Former Secretary of State for Energy, UK

London, United Kingdom

“It has definitely changed work patterns, behaviour patterns, think patterns, demanding life resets and work resets all round. There is a slight sense of madness in the air and in public affairs and discussion. Politics and systems of governance definitely changing, as is the philosophy behind our past arrangements. ‘Democracy’ has to be redefined. But maybe this was all coming anyway, with on-going digital revolution, and Covid has just accelerated it.”

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