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reflections from the 20th BHGE annual meeting

Updated: Feb 25, 2021

io attended another great Baker Hughes, a GE company, (BHGE) Annual Meeting (AM) in Florence. This year it’s the 20th anniversary and accordingly it was the biggest and most extensive to date with the arena spilling over and into the Stazione Leopalda. Lorenzo Simonelli opened the AM, commented the special place Stazione Leopalda has in BHGE history as the first Nuovo Pignone compressors were shipped from the station.

Lorenzo highlighted these major trends in the oil & gas industry:

  • The world needs more energy—more than 1 billion people in the world are living without access to electricity. People want more from energy—cleaner, more efficient, and more productive.

  • Digitalisation of energy and democratisation of technology are changing the landscape as we go forward.

  • Climate change is a crucial consideration. How will we as an industry take it on? Currently 10% of CO2 emissions worldwide come from the oil & gas industry. We have to take this on as an industry.

With this in mind the theme of the event was ‘energy forward’, there was recognition again that the worlds demand for hydrocarbons might slow and could shrink to as low as 70 mmboe/d from current 100 mmboe/d but could also increase to upwards of 130 mmboe/d but and that the challenge of climate change and the transition to a decarbonised energy mix was being embraced by all. Lorenzo launched BHGE’s own carbon neutral 2050 initiative and throughout the conference we heard from IOCs, NOCs and independents how they too were working towards a lower carbon intensity in all their operations and supporting the transition to a decarbonised energy mix whilst balancing the challenges of a hydrocarbon dependent world.

It was stated that the oil & gas industry is responsible for between a quarter and a third of methane released on earth. So it was no surprise that a key focus for many producers was the importance of reducing fugitive methane emissions. A number of BHGE technologies to identify, measure and help contain these were on display in the technology hall.

Another strong theme of the meeting was collaboration, between owners, suppliers, regulators. I had the pleasure of participating in the first panel of Tuesday morning, ably and entertainingly moderated by Paul de Leewe, Director – Oil and Gas Institute at Robert Gordon University on the theme of collaboration, early engagement and new business models. On the panel with m were Phil Kirk, CEO, Chrysaor who smashed it, Rich Frommer, CEO Great Western Oil & Gas and Neil Gilmour, VP CP Integrated Gas, Shell. All agreed we were seeing a greater level of supplier and owner collaboration, earlier engagement in project life cycle the importance of long term relationships and the hope that the more transactional and confrontation al nature of relationships past will not re-emerge as demand for services re-balances.

That afternoon I shared the mezzanine with BHGE colleagues Michael Farina BHGE Growth and Strategy Leader, Fullstream Gas & Power and Nick Fulford, Gaffney Cline Associates, Head of Global Gas Practice to discuss the challenge of monetising gas resources. Different perspectives emerged and I was challenged robustly by some in the audience over a comment made about carbon taxes. All in all, a great event, the io team managed to connect with many past and future clients and with many of our BHGE and McDermott colleagues from around the globe.

Here is a short excerpt from the Collaboration, Early Engagement and New Business Models panel discussion mentioned.

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