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To reach your goals these days, you need to have your priorities straight.  That’s true whether you are managing personal finances or running a major corporation. And it’s also the case for global industries.

So what are today’s top priorities for the oil and gas industry?/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/oilrig_285145.jpg

I recently asked Ken Evans, Senior Director of Strategy and Execution for Oil and Gas Industry Business Solutions at SAP, that question. He responded with three simple words:

Safe. “Safety continues to be foremost in the minds of oil and gas executives,” Evans says. “The risks are just too high.” Other experts agree. A recent Business Pulse report for Oil and Gas from Ernst & Young notes that, “Health, safety, and the environment remain on top of the oil and gas industry’s agenda, reflecting a climate of zero tolerance for accidents both within the industry and within the stakeholder community.”

Reliable. “A mechanical failure out on an oil rig can have a huge environmental and financial impact,” Evans tells me. “It’s imperative to design reliability into the systems and procedures we use.” Upfront analysis and standardization can go a long way in reducing the likelihood of failure. “And this philosophy makes as much sense in the business office as it does in the oil field,” adds Evans.

Sustainable. The oil and gas industry is still relatively young. And while estimates vary, the global demand for oil and gas energy continues to grow – particularly in developing economies like India and China. At the same time, newer technologies such as “fracking” in shale and other tight formations are redefining the extent of the world’s recoverable energy reserves. As Evans sees it, “Good stewardship of our planet is more important than ever, so is the need to develop sustainable exploration and production practices for the future.”

Safety, reliability, and sustainability. It’s no surprise that these will be the major themes at this year’s Best Practices for Oil & Gas event in Dallas, Texas. Scheduled for October 6th through the 9th, more than 500 industry leaders are expected to attend. This will be a unique opportunity to share thought-leadership ideas, subject-matter expertise, leading strategies, and best practices for the industry.

There’s still time to join your colleagues at this event, but if you can’t, be sure to follow me on Twitter at @JohnGWard3 to stay current with latest news from Dallas.

And join the conversation @SAPOilandGas #OilGasConf.

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