Interview with Oil & Gas Consultant Giulia Buttery – CEO of OEM Energy Consultancy

Interviewer: Mahmoud Mansi

Apart from Giulia’s work as CEO ( & Consultant, she is also a public speaker and currently she is enthusiastic about Anti-Corruption in organizations. She is the Regional Director for GCC, Africa and UK for The American Anti-Corruption Institute (

1- HR Revolution Middle East Magazine: You have been working in the Oil & Gas Industry for 17 years. Can you please tell us more about your remarks regarding talent retention in this industry?

Giulia Buttery: The nature of the industry is cyclical and therefore for many years there has been a talent shortage for many complex reasons. At the moment demographics are playing a part on our shortage along with the recent oil price downturn, meaning we have lost a number of our Generation X/Boomers who are our deep subject matter experts. It takes years of experience and knowledge to reach this level so it’s not a quick fix to fill their valuable shoes. It is not about more training courses, it is about a blend of learning, coaching, and on-job experience working across dynamic teams that share information at its simplest level.

2- HR Revolution Middle East Magazine: You have worked across the Middle East, Africa, UK, and USA, was there a difference between in the Oil & Gas organizations across these regions?

Giulia Buttery: We have a mix of National Oil Companies a (NOC) and International Supermajors (IOC). The differences are many but for the purposes of a shorter answer, I believe that one of the differences is the internal culture in the way they work together. The IOC’s have a more global approach to delivering projects, and therefore a larger amount of complexity in organisation structure and procedure.

3- HR Revolution Middle East Magazine: To what extent do you believe the Oil & Gas business is related to the politics of the country?

Giulia Buttery: You have the separation between the NOC and the IOC. Oil and Gas is a major part of a country’s GDP so of course it is linked to politics. When oil is discovered, it brings the opportunity for local jobs which boosts the profile of the government. One oil job creates six others in the supporting industries and therefore ends up drawing multiple business opportunities that benefits a country.

4- HR Revolution Middle East Magazine: If Oil & Gas companies from across the globe would unite to communicate for one common purpose, what would you advise this purpose would be?

Giulia Buttery: Protecting the environment and investing in renewable energy.

5- HR Revolution Middle East Magazine: What do you believe are the direct threats to this industry?

Giulia Buttery: Corruption, the biggest talent shortages in over 40 years and not looking forward (in some countries) on how you can create greener fuel.

6- HR Revolution Middle East Magazine: You have attended many HR conferences; both as a delegate and a speaker, what are your positive and constructive feedbacks regarding them?

Giulia Buttery: On the positive side it is a good opportunity for people to network and make contacts and see what others are doing and achieving in their organisations. I prefer the conferences that deliver workshops as well as presentations because I believe that it provides excellent learning opportunities that can be taken away. On the negative side, of course a conference is a commercial opportunity and there have been some instances where speakers and their content haven’t been vetted because they have paid for sponsorship. A conference to me is about sharing information not selling your services.

7- HR Revolution Middle East Magazine: If you are organizing your own conference, what would you like the theme to be?

Giulia Buttery: I’m very involved in Anti-Corruption at the moment and how the knowledge is implemented at government and organisational level. Many organisations are not aware that they are losing between 5-15% off the top line owing to corruption, not to mention the damage to their brand. On a human level, what I like about implementing Anti-Corruption programs is that it brings a trust element to the workforce and a greater sense of team, which was an interesting and rewarding shift from just delivering a necessary policy and one that I hadn’t anticipated.

8- HR Revolution Middle East Magazine: As an international public speaker, what are the qualities of an interesting public speaker from your own perspective?

Giulia Buttery: To me it’s about sharing and I hope to develop some more interactive presentations that allow us all to participate in the future.

HR Revolution Middle East Magazine: Giulia, we are very thankful for your efforts and for sharing your insights and experience with us!