As Marketing Director, Alex Keys is responsible for shaping Fluenta’s messaging and maintaining our position as a global leader in the measurement, monitoring and management of flare gas. We caught up with Alex to talk about his career and his views on the latest emerging trends in oil and gas.
Tell us about your education and career before joining Fluenta
Before Fluenta I was very focused on the medical device industry. My initial education was as a technician in cardiac surgery. I worked in operating theatres for ten years before joining the Oil & Gas Industry – first as a technical specialist and then in marketing.
How long have you been working at Fluenta?
I have only been with Fluenta for eight months now, joining the team in November 2017.
What does an ‘average day’ look like?
While I love spending time with customers, the average day for me would be in front of the computer managing a number of key marketing projects. This could mean strategic planning for new products, arranging our attendance at a tradeshow, working on market data and almost anything in between. As Marketing Director in a small company you need to be able to manage the detail yourself – whilst always keeping an eye on the big picture.
What are you most proud of achieving during your time at Fluenta?
I put quite a lot of effort into updating the look and feel of the materials we provide our sales team and it was great to head out to the Middle East and see those new materials in use. When your work helps secure an order it really feels like a job well done.
What do you predict for the future of Oil & Gas Technology?
The industry was notorious for being a laggard when it came to new tech – something primarily driven by safety concerns. I think this is changing and that we are only just starting to see augmented reality and digital twinning being adopted by the supermajors. I expect possible goals for the future will be digital simulation of major assets and machine learning for process improvement. Such new technology applications are exciting and should lead to greatly reduced risks and costs – some of which are improvements already achievable today.
However assets in Europe and the US are quite old, and I think deploying new technology on older systems will be a challenge. Technology providers need to make it easy for plant owners to upgrade and improve their infrastructures with minimal shutdown time and risk.
What advice do you have for newcomers to the Oil & Gas Industry?
As a newcomer myself, my strategy has been to really live it. Read and learn as much as you can, try to understand everything the technical team is talking about and understand the economies of the oil industry and the patterns of investment. While day one can seem very abstract when trying to understand a refinery process or the different benchmarks of crude, these insights will really help you in the long run.