Rio Oil & Gas: Alex Imperial has taken over as DNV GL Oil & Gas’s regional manager for South America just as the company is creating a dedicated research unit in Brazil.
Mr Imperial recently left Singapore, where he was Director for DNV GL’s Deepwater Technology Centre, to take over DNV GL’s Oil & Gas Division in South America. Experience from his last position will benefit his new role as the new dedicated Research unit means that research will be one of the DNV GL’s focus areas in Brazil.
“With the vast pre-salt offshore developments ongoing and planned in Brazil, and other opportunities in South America, I’m delighted to have taken on this role in what is a very exciting time for both the region and DNV GL. We have a total of 130 local technical experts, but also draw on the deep and broad expertise of our 5,500 employees globally,” says Mr Imperial.
In the company’s annual industry outlook published in 2014, in which 430 senior oil and gas professionals were asked about the prospects for the near future, Brazil was ranked as the second most attractive investment destination for 2014. Yet the year has brought challenges for the industry, “We have experienced a slowdown in the industry, with rising costs, tough competition and signs of weaker performance in the Brazilian economy,” he explains.
“In this environment, I believe DNV GL has a valuable role to play as an independent partner, combining deep industry expertise in challenging operating conditions with a focus on how to work smarter. This is also one of our reasons for investing 5% of our revenue in research and development - our ultimate goal is to develop solutions that enable the industry to become safer, smarter and greener. The establishment of the new Research unit is one step towards this goal and in line with the National Agency of Petroleum, Natural Gas and Biofuels (ANP) research scheme in Brazil," says Mr Imperial.
"The new unit allows us to focus on joint industry projects (JIPs) where we work closely with oil companies and suppliers to address concrete and pressing challenges by finding innovative cutting-edge solutions with a focus on deepwater operations. And, equally important, we share the results and our experience with the industry. We have many ongoing JIPs, but just to mention one - Petrobras, Repsol, and Vallourec have signed up as potential partners for our Collapse JIP. In this, we will work on a standard for pipelines in ultra-deep waters,” he continues. He adds that the combination of cooperating with local partners and DNV GL's existing global network of labs and technology centres creates a truly “global execution, local delivery” R&D model.
Alex Imperial started as an intern in DNV GL 23 years ago, and has since gained extensive experience from a variety of roles in Brazil and Asia within the Maritime and Oil & Gas divisions, as both a technical expert and leader. He started his management career as a Station Manager in Macaé while also being rig coordinator for Petrobas. He has also served as the global Key Account Manager for Petrobas as well as driving business development in South America and South East Asia Pacific.
Mr Imperial has an academic background as a Mechanical Engineer from the Universidade Gama Filho in Rio de Janeiro, supplemented by postgraduate training in Safety Engineering from Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro and Environmental Engineering from Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro.