BHGE AM Day 2: Digital and culture step-changes in the future of clean energy

By michele cowart, news editor, world oil on 2/8/2019

FLORENCE -- The Baker Hughes, a GE company annual meeting is a two-day conference filled with industry leaders who share best practices, best-in-class products and services, and an unforgettable opera performance in the Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino. In addition, the stage is set to make big announcements, close big deals and network, network, network. In its 20th year, the BHGE AM is one of the top industry events of the year.

Day Two recap. Keynote speaker Sheikh Khalid Bin Khalifa Al-Thani, CEO, Qatargas Operating Company Limited, began Day Two with the theme, “Smarter ways to bring energy to the world.” Qatargas is the world's largest LNG company, producing and supplying the globe with 42 MMmt of LNG annually from four ventures—Qatargas 1, Qatargas 2, Qatargas 3 and Qatargas 4. It is headquartered in Doha, Qatar, and maintains upstream assets in Ras Laffan, Qatar. As industry leaders continue to transform their companies into lower-carbon emissions enterprises, we will see a wide-spread culture change, predicted Khalifa Al-Thani.

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Photo: Kalle Hersvik, CEO, AkerBP.

“We will continue to challenge ourselves as we bring clean energy into the future,” said Khalifa Al-Thani. The first panel discussion on Day Two was moderated by Paul de Leeuw, director O&G Institute, R. Gordon University. The topic covered “Collaboration, early-engagement and new business models: Challenges and opportunities to stimulate industry growth.” Panelists included Richard Dyson, CEO, io oil & gas consulting; Richard N. Frommer, president and CEO, Great Western Oil & Gas Company; Neil Gilmour, V.P., CP integrated gas, projects and new energies, Shell; and Phil Kirk, CEO, Chrysaor. As the group shared best practices in supply chain with the audience, there were similar sentiments that echoed familiarity in uncertain times. Looking to the future with “cautious optimism,” “enthusiasm” and “attention to detail” are statements that help keep employees motivated and focused on their goals, they said.

The second keynote speaker, Datuk Md Arif Mahmood, executive V.P. &CEO downstream, PETRONAS, presented “Play2Win: Digital & Collaboration.” As the industry continues to evolve, he maintained, leaders must start the evolution, from the top down. Change, he said, comes from a mindset that must be spread throughout the company. Everyone must buy into the improvements and celebrate the successes along the way. “It’s not about technology. Its more about culture and mindset,” said Mahmood.

The next panel discussion, “How to invent smarter ways to bring energy to the world,” was moderated by Muqsit Ashraf, senior managing director of energy, Accenture. Panelists included Eirik Barclay, CEO, Yinson Production; Sudhir Mathur, CEO, Cairn Oil & Gas, Vedanta Limited; and Awadh Al-Maker, EVP, Shared Services, Sabic. The group answered questions about the growing demand for energy and what needs to be done to meet these needs. In addition, they all agreed to collaborate with other industry leaders to set standards for meeting the world’s energy needs in a sustainable way.

Speakers for the remainder of the day included:

  • Kalle Hersvik, CEO, AkerBP, “Unleasing change & innovation: Survival of the fittest”
  • Shanker Trivedi, senior V.P. of enterprise businesses, NVIDIA, “AI at industrial scale”
  • A panel discussion moderated by Helima Croft, R&B Capital, with panelists Alessandro Decio, CEO & general manager, SACE; and Gordon Welsh, Head of Business Group, UK Export Finance, “An attractive investment: Ingredients required by the industry to attract capital”
  • Alessandro Puliti, chief development, operations & technology officer, Eni, “Energy efficiency: A key for moving toward low carbon energy”
  • A panel discussion moderated by Monika Simões, managing director, Energy Dialogues LLC, with panelists Paul de Leeuw, director, O&G Institute, Robert Gordon University; Ethan Novek, Founder & CTO, Innovator Energy; and Taylor Shinn, V.P. Ventures and Growth, BHGE, “The new face of energy.”

Closing out the final day of the BHGE Annual Meeting was Lorenzo Simonelli, chairman & CEO, BHGE. He thanked guests for attending the 20th anniversary annual meeting and adding value to the conference by sharing their individual companies’ visions for the future of the industry. He also recapped BHGE’s announced goal to become “carbon net zero by 2050,” and how the company will be evaluating ways to reduce emissions incrementally, across all businesses.

BHGE and ENOC partnership. Following the conclusion of the official annual meeting, there was news regarding a co-development plan between ENOC and BHGE. Together, they will develop VitalyX lubricant monitoring system, which is BHGE’s first lubrication condition monitoring system with cloud-based software integration. When making the analogy of a doctor’s visit that results in bloodwork that must be drawn and sent away for further evaluation and recommendations, Diarmaid Mullholland, CEO of BHGE’s measurement & sensing business, explained that “the lifeblood of a machine is the oil, and what we’ve come up with is a technology that offers 24/7 blood sampling. The same as sending it off to a lab.”

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