It is a year we will all remember for a very long time for all the wrong reasons; COVID-19 has impacted on everyone's life. As I sit at home and write this the UK is in the midst of a second lockdown and while that means I'm continuing to work at home the good news is that the drilling sector in line with the wider construction industry in the UK is allowed to remain onsite.
The ability of the UK's drilling industry is a small positive and one I'm happy to take for the country's future is still very uncertain. The UK is still scheduled to finally leave the European Union at the end of 2020, but as I write this there is still no agreement on how it will happen.
Meanwhile, across the Atlantic, COVID-19 is having an even greater impact with the death toll in the US continuing to rise and that is providing a dark backdrop to what must be on of the most protracted presidential hand-overs in history. When Joe Biden is able to assume his role as president-elect can anyone predict what his leadership will entail for the drilling industry?
While the industry can predict the future here at GDI we can give you an insight into what is happening in the sector and much of that concerns automation. In this issue, you can read about how major manufacturers of drilling equipment such as Epiroc, Sandvik and MacLean are developing options to remove the driller from the front line working environment.
A look back to events in Chile 10 years ago clearly shows why it is important to keep drill personal as safe as possible by automating processes and taking them away from potential danger whenever the option is available.