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Beyer Addresses Role of Oil and Gas in Energy Transition at Houston Energy Breakfast

Council CEO Leslie Beyer at the Houston Energy Breakfast
Council CEO Leslie Beyer at the Houston Energy Breakfast 2021

Council CEO Leslie Beyer discussed the vital role oil and gas plays in energy transition during remarks at last week’s Houston Energy Breakfast.

“This is not a transition away from oil and gas,” Beyer told attendees. “It’s the entire energy ecosystem working together to produce the energy we need in a cleaner, safer and cost-effective manner. It’s multiple transitions based on unique aspects of countries and regions.”

Jim Wicklund, Managing Director, Stephens Inc.; Girish Saligram, President & CEO, Weatherford; and Sunday Shepherd, General Manager, Chevron, also made remarks in a program devoted to Reinventing the Energy in Houston.

Beyer delved into key trends, including digitalization, remote technology, automation, reducing climate impact, improving environmental performance, and pursuing economic and environmental equity. She said, markets are a key driver of the transition.

“The transition must be smart and realistic with a focus on improving lives,” Beyer said. “Hydrocarbons will part of the fuel mix for the foreseeable future.”

INNOVATIVE TECHNOLOGY

Oil and gas companies have a critical role because of their history of developing and deploying transformative innovation, Beyer said.

“Energy services will lead the energy transition because the sector knows how to scale projects and deliver technology to meet growing demand,” she said.

Speakers at Houston Energy Breakfast 2021
Speakers at Houston Energy Breakfast 2021

Beyer described the Council’s work in this area, including the efforts of the Energy Transition & Technology Committee, led by committee Chair Benoit Chamber-Loir, Development & Innovation Global Key Account Manager, Vallourec, Vice Chair Ed Whitnell, Vice President – Renewables, NOV Inc., and Council Advisory Board Liaison Sanjiv Shah, Managing Director, Global Co-Head of Energy & Power Investment Banking, Piper Sandler.

“Technology is changing the future of energy services,” Beyer said. “And the energy services sector is at the forefront of the breakthroughs that will power cleaner and more efficient economic growth around the world.”

ON THE CUTTING EDGE

She described vital technologies being used in the energy industry, such as eFrac, gas turbines, carbon capture utilization and storage, artificial intelligence and machine learning. She also highlighted breakthrough energy transition advancements in a variety of areas from Council Members, including:

  • Deep shale CO2 injections
  • CO2 sequestration in onshore and offshore rock formations
  • Methane leak detection using thermal energy cameras or airplane and drone-based monitoring
  • Energy storage technology, such as grid-scale nickel-hydrogen batteries
  • Geothermal
  • Fleet electrification
  • Dynamic gas blending and dual fuel fleets
  • Complete system automation
  • Hydrogen
  • Offshore remote operations

“The Council is working every day to educate policymakers and the public about the necessity of oil and gas,” Beyer said. “Energy demand will rise by 25% over the next 20 years, and the renewables supply chain relies on oil and gas for transportation, shipping, electricity, materials and manufacturing. Oil and gas enables wealthy nations and companies to invest in alternative energy sources.”

Council Members at the Houston Energy Breakfast 2021
Council Members at the Houston Energy Breakfast 2021

A strong oil and gas sector is important for U.S. national security, Beyer said. Without it, the U.S. would be dependent on other nations for its energy needs. In addition, China controls the majority of critical minerals and metals essential for batteries, turbines and solar panels.

Beyer closed with a summary of the Council’s initiatives to attract, retain and prepare the energy workforce of the future. These efforts encompass inclusion, diversity and racial equality, workforce development programs, and partnerships with industry allies and academia to train the next generation.

“We’re optimistic about the future of oil and gas with the commercial opportunities presented in the energy transition,” Beyer said. “The Council is forming alliances with key stakeholders, and we’re strongly advocating on behalf of the sector.”

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