New Delhi, May 18 (IANS) The oil and gas companies most committed to reinventing themselves over the next three years as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic expect to grow their revenues and margins at twice the rate of companies least committed to reinvention, according to a new report from Accenture that outlines best practices companies should adopt to thrive in the energy transition.The report, titled "Necessity is the Mother of (Re)invention" features results from a global survey of more than 200 oil and gas executives and introduces Accenture's "Reinvention Index," which analysed the companies across key factors related to reinvention. Accenture classified the 10% of companies that scored the highest in the Index - who are setting the pace for reinvention through bold and decisive action - as reinvention "leaders," with those in the bottom 25% labelled "laggards."In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, all of the leaders plan at least some level of significant changes to their business, with half (50%) intending radical reinvention, compared with only 9% of the laggards. Almost seven in 10 Leaders (69%) consider enterprise-wide transformation essential to this reinvention and 77% of Leaders see cloud as essential to their business reinvention plans in the next three years.And reinvention could drive substantial rewards. For instance, Leaders expect minimum margin growth of 7%, on average, in the next three years, more than double that of the Laggards (3%), and expect to grow revenues over the same period by at least 11%, compared with just 6% for the Laggards."Competition from new energy sources, environmental accountability, talent scarcity, investor apathy and the COVID-19 pandemic have led most oil and gas companies to realise the need to transform to ensure profitability, embrace sustainability and maintain their relevance," said Muqsit Ashraf, a senior managing director at Accenture who leads its Energy industry group. "What's required isn't just piecemeal transformation but wholesale business reinvention, which is anchored in a new approach that we call our '5C' model."The '5C' model for reinvention comprises: Competitiveness, Connectivity, Carbon, Customer and Culture.The report notes that attaining carbon neutrality, in particular, is a key facet of the reinvention required to thrive in today's era of accelerated energy transition. In fact, more than a third (37%) of respondents, including all the Leaders, expect margin improvements of 20% or more from their low-carbon businesses in the next three years. Refocusing investments, operations and products will be key, with 97% of all respondents citing environmental performance as a priority and one-third (33%) naming it their top priority.Hydrogen and renewable power were identified as the two low-carbon businesses with the most growth potential. In fact, more than half of Leaders expect hydrogen (cited by 62%) and renewable power (54%) to account for more than 7% of their revenues within the decade."This decade will be a make-or-break period for the oil and gas industry, which remains rutted in a low-price environment, but the opportunities presented in the report provide a blueprint for reinvention for continued success," Ashraf said. "All oil and gas companies should aim to emulate the reinvention Leaders to maintain relevance during and after the energy transition. Otherwise, the transition will transform from an opportunity to build a sustainable and profitable future to an existential risk." Hari Shankaranarayanan, a managing director and lead for Accenture's energy practice in India said, "As oil and gas companies reinvent, they will need to pivot from being commodity businesses to customer-centric businesses and from businesses that meet energy demand to businesses that solve problems. The path to a sustainable and profitable future for the industry will depend on holistic transformation, especially underpinned by data-driven reinvention, platform strategy, cybersecurity capabilities and ecosystem partnerships. Oil and gas companies also need to focus on creating a culture of innovation and collaboration." In early 2021, Accenture conducted its Oil and Gas Reinvention Index research to understand the actions that oil and gas companies are taking to meet the challenges of the energy transition, their progress toward reinvention, and the outcomes they expect to achieve. The research included a survey of 214 C-suite executives from 179 oil and gas companies across five continents and nine regions including India. More than four-fifths (83%) of the companies were international or independent oil companies, with the rest national oil companies and oilfield and equipment services companies. More than one-third (36%) of the companies have revenues exceeding US$10 billion, and 48% have annual revenues between US$1 billion and US$10 billion. Accenture also created a Reinvention Index Score, based on selected survey results and composed of equally weighted scores from each of the five identified facets of reinvention (competitiveness, carbon, connectivity, customers and culture). --IANS sn/ash
Stomach ache or abdominal pain can be cramped, achy, dull, sharp, or intermittent. The common causes of stomach ache include constipation, diarrhea, acid reflux, lactose intolerance, stress, gas, and bloating.
Nutritionist and Lifestyle Educator, Karishma Chawla shares tips on how to deal with different stomach aches and home remedies for it:
Constipation is caused by lack of dietary fiber, indulging in too many processed foods, dehydration, too much dairy, medications, lack of exercise or movement, lack of routine or a hurried morning, ignoring the urge to defecate, and stress plays a big role. Chronic constipation can lead to gas production, stomach bloating, and ache. Dietary interventions include consuming whole grains such as dalia, red rice poha, rajgira, and legumes fruits and veggies rich in fiber like dark green leafy veggies, pear, and papaya, drinking plenty of water and other fluids like starting the day with lemon water and consuming vegetable smoothies.
Lifestyle measures include slowing down the morning ritual, having a routine, set wake up and sleep time along with some yoga and stretches. Avoid refined foods, deep-fried foods, and high sugar foods. Can experiment with black salt, this may help to relieve gas and bloating and aid digestion. And garlic helps to relieve gas, constipation and treat the infection.
Also, Read► Constipation: Causes, Symptoms And Ayurvedic Treatment
This can be caused by a viral infection, drugs, food allergies, and food sensitivities to name a few. Management of diarrhea includes fluid balance with coconut water, buttermilk, salted rice kanji, lemon sugar salt beverage, or weak tea.
Individuals with lactose intolerance usually lack the enzyme lactase to digest the lactose in milk leading to stomach cramps and diarrhea. Avoiding milk is beneficial and can substitute milk with almond and coconut milk.
Gas and Bloating
This can be a result of food sensitivities, constipation or indigestion leading to abdominal pain. Manage this by dropping food irritants that cause gas, eating a diet high in fiber, adequate water, chewing food properly. One can also experiment with adding herbs such as turmeric that help to break down food and absorb nutrients and garlic that helps to relieve gas.
It is caused by low stomach acid, magnesium deficiency, certain foods, hiatus hernia, and eating food too quickly. Relief is found by avoiding foods such as citrus foods, alcohol, spicy foods, peppermint. Practice mindful eating, chew every mouthful 20-30 times, and can experiment with aloe juice in the morning and sauf and kala jeera water before meals to secrete stomach acid.
Also, Read► Hyperacidity: Causes, Symptoms And Ayurvedic Treatment
Stress can cause low stomach acid. People with low stomach acid typically experience frequent heartburn, acid reflux, burping, bloating, gas, and even nausea after eating. Home remedies include a glass of warm water and fresh lemon or lime. Squeeze a tablespoon of lemon juice into the water and drink before consuming anything else. You can also try adding 1 tablespoon of raw apple cider vinegar to an 8-ounce glass of warm water and drink it about 15-30 minutes before a meal. Drink this after meals if you experience heartburn.
Trial participants in Bhopal, who, incidentally, are also victims of the 1984 gas tragedy, told IANS of "severe violations" of the model code of conduct pertaining to trials including an absence of consent and no follow-up on their health after developing adverse reactions post the first dose by a particular clinical trial site.
They alleged that the People's College of Medical Sciences and Research Centre, a private hospital, which is one of the 26 sites conducting Phase 3 trials of Bharat Biotech's Covid vaccine Covaxin, did not inform them that they were participating in trials.
Many of them, who have claimed to be illiterate, and belong to severely disadvantaged sections of the society, have said that they signed up after believing that they were getting vaccinated. They were also allured with a Rs 750 cash payment by the clinical site for enrolment.
Rashida Bee, President of the Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmchari Sangh and a recipient of the Goldman Environmental Prize, said that at least 700 of the 1,700 people on who this vaccine, with unknown efficacy, is being tested, are people poisoned by Union Carbide.
Man Singh Parihar, 70, who works as a construction worker, had volunteered for the trial on December 21 after he was told that he would be given a Covid vaccine for free in addition to Rs 750.
"I was not told that it was a trial or study. They told me that I won't catch corona after this injection and I was promised Rs 750 as well. They conducted a blood test and a general checkup and gave me a shot," he said.
"Three days after the shot, I suffered severe cold, fever, and dizziness. Till day, my appetite has not recovered," he added.
After developing the adverse reactions, Parihar's family took him to a local doctor. Asked why he didn't go to the hospital, he claimed that he was never told to report there if side effects occur. "The local doctor practices near my house. I chose to go there since he charges less money than the hospitals," he said.
Parihar also alleged that the trial site never followed up on his health.
Chanda Devi, 60, who sells artificial jewelry door to door, also suffered fever, vomiting, and dizziness days after taking the shot on December 19. "Due to illness, I am unable to go to work now. Had I known that it was a trial, I would have never taken the job," she said while regretting taking the shot.
The participants were provided forms to record the changes in their body post the jab. However, they alleged that the investigators assured them that no side effects would occur.
"Five members of my family volunteered for the trials including my aging mother-in-law. We were assured about no side effects," said 45-year-old Jashoda Bai whose family members suffered similar complications to others after taking the first dose on December 7.
She also alleged her family was not informed about the risks involved despite asking.
"They started to ask us about a nominee for an insurance policy. When I asked the purpose, I was told not to ask too many questions," Jashoda Bai said.
While she went for the second dose, other volunteers said that they would never go for it.
Rachna Dhingra, a public health activist associated with Bhopal Group of Information, alleged that the People's Medical College exploited the vulnerability of the victims to achieve maximum recruitments in the trial.
"It has enrolled more than 1,700 participants in the Phase 3 trial, after meeting the initial target of 1,000 participants, at a time when it was reported that other sites were facing difficulties in recruiting volunteers. Most of them are gas tragedy victims from a poor background and are illiterate," she said.
She also said that communities from Gareeb Nagar, Shankar Nagar, Oriya Basta, Kainchi Chhola, JP Nagar, etc, situated behind the abandoned Union Carbide factory, were chosen for the trial since they are in the vicinity of the site.
Dr. Anant Bhan, the researcher In Bioethics and Global Health Policy, said that it is against the rules to not make informed and electronically documented consent for the volunteers identified under vulnerable groups. "New Drugs and Clinical Trials Rules, 2019, clearly states to record audio or visual while taking consent from such volunteers," he said.
The trial site did not take IANS' queries regarding the allegations leveled against them. IANS contacted Bharat Biotech for comments but the firm refused to comment over the phone and instead asked to send the questions by mail.
Bhopal - The effects of the Bhopal gas tragedy of 1984 are still visible among the residents of the state capital. Obesity and thyroid problems are becoming a major health issue with many victims of the tragedy, says a new data-based study.
On the occasion of the 36 anniversary of the Union Carbide incident in Bhopal, members of the Sambhavana Trust Clinic have found that the victims of the accident are experiencing more problems related to obesity and thyroid than others.
Giving details of the study, Dr. Sanjay Srivastava, a physician, said, "The analysis of data of 27,155 gas victims and others who have been taking treatment in our clinics for the last 15 years has found that people suffering from poisonous gases of Union Carbide are 2.75 times more likely to be overweight and suffer from obesity than normal people. The rate of thyroid-related diseases is 1.92 times higher."
The founder trustee of Sambhavna Trust Satinath Shadangi said that high obesity in Bhopal gas tragedy victims makes them more prone to such ailments as diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, joint pains, apart from deadly diseases such as cancers of the liver, kidney, breast and uterus.
The clinic's community health worker Tabassum Ara said that the workers of the Sambhavana Trust Clinic have worked to spread awareness in 15 localities with a population of 42,000 to cope with the Coronavirus epidemic over the last eight months.
It may be recalled that the Sambhavana Trust Clinic, set up for free treatment of the victims of Union Carbide in 1996, has treated 25,348 victims of the gas tragedy and 7,449 people suffering from the effects of groundwater polluted by poisonous wastes. (IANS)
London, June 27 (IANS) Those who work in the kitchen can find solace in the fact that standing next to a gas cooker can keep their blood pressure in check. According to a unique research, exposure to gas cooker can lower blood pressure and partially offset the adverse cardiovascular effects of air pollution.The team from King's College London in the UK found that the period next to a gas cooker increased nitrogen dioxide levels in the air 10-fold and subsequently lowered blood pressure by 5 mm Hg from 45 minutes onwards. The study also found that blood levels of the substance nitrite increased by 15 per cent after 15 minutes.Previous studies have shown that nitrite, which can be converted from dietary nitrate following the ingestion of green leafy vegetables and beetroot, can lower blood pressure. This study, published in the journal Circulation Research, suggests nitrite can also be made when the body processes nitrogen dioxide and makes a link between previous research focusing on dietary nitrate and studies of inhalation of nitrogen dioxide for the first time."If exposure to nitrogen dioxide from gas cookers contributes to lowering blood pressure, this could be beneficial per se, and in the context of general air pollution may partially offset the adverse cardiovascular effects of short-term exposures to elevated particulate matter concentrations," explained Dr Andrew Webb, Clinical Senior Lecturer at King's College London.The mechanism by which nitrogen dioxide lowers blood pressure appears to be through linking into the same pathway as dietary nitrate (found in green leafy vegetables and beetroot): both result in an increase in blood nitrite levels. "Therefore, it is not just what you eat, but how you cook it that matters," said Webb.The study examined the blood chemistry and cardiovascular changes of 12 healthy volunteers. They sat next to a domestic gas cooker for 90 minutes followed by 90 minutes with normal background nitrogen levels. On another occasion, the volunteers were exposed to normal background nitrogen dioxide levels for three hours.While the evidence linking nitrogen dioxide to a worsening of symptoms in respiratory disease is well established, its short-term impact on the heart and circulation is less clear. Notably, "people with domestic gas appliances or people working in kitchens with gas cookers may be exposed to higher levels of nitrogen dioxide, but with less particulate matter, than that found on the street".This unique study helps to shed light on some of the rapid effects of nitrogen dioxide on the heart and circulation. While this effect of short-term exposure to nitrogen dioxide in healthy volunteers may be beneficial, there are other studies of adverse effects of long-term exposure to nitrogen dioxide, and on adverse effects of short-term exposure in asthmatics, the authors wrote.Further research will confirm these findings in larger studies and examine the effects on a more varied cohort, they added.--IANSna/
New York, June 11 (IANS) Researchers have found that living in close proximity to oil and gas operations may increase the risk of preterm birth.For the findings, published in the journal ‘Environmental Epidemiology', the research team examined 225,000 births from mothers who lived within about six miles of oil and gas wells in the San Joaquin Valley from 1998 to 2011. The results show that women who lived near wells in the first and second trimesters were eight to 14 per cent more likely to experience a spontaneous preterm birth - one that would otherwise be unexplained - at 20 to 31 weeks. "There's some evidence that environmental exposures increase risk of preterm birth, but this particular exposure -- oil and gas -- has received very little attention in California, despite having millions of people living in close proximity to wells," said study lead author David Gonzalez from Stanford University."We're getting a sense that this does potentially have an adverse effect on health outcomes of pregnancy," Gonzalez added.The researchers investigated a potential link between residential proximity to oil and gas operations and spontaneous preterm birth in California. The analyses focused on how exposure to wells may affect spontaneous preterm births.Of about 225,000 birth outcomes analysed over a 13-year period, the findings showed that 28,000 were spontaneous preterm births.The researchers only analysed wells that were active or in the preproduction stage - when the wells were being constructed - since those are expected to have the most emissions. The analyses included about 83,000 wells, 12,000 of which were in preproduction. They included mothers living within six miles of a well into their analyses of the highest risk of exposure.The researchers also hope to further explore why living near a well could be associated with a spontaneous preterm birth. Residents near wells may be exposed to a range of environmental contaminants and stressors.For example, they could be breathing in chemicals used in extraction, experiencing stress from drilling noise, drinking contaminated water or breathing in higher levels of particulate matter in the air around such sites."We don't understand what causes preterm birth, but we understand that certain factors increase your risk, and environmental exposures are among those factors," Gonzalez said.--IANSbu/arm