Technology, Innovation & Decarbonisation in the Energy Sectors


The senior-level virtual conference connected technology and decarbonisation for the oil and gas industry 


London UK – 12th December The Future Energy Transition 2022 virtual conference took place on 6th December 2022, with a particular focus on sustainability and technology.  

Adam Soroka, Managing Director at Cavendish Group International said: “As a global community, we need to focus on three key variables, which are power, transport and industry to achieve net-zero goals, while finely balancing energy security and economic and environmental sustainability”. 

With over 350 attendees from 50 countries, the conference had 16 different sessions, with sponsors on the day including Kongsberg; Ansys, AVEVA and ZynQ360. Speakers and moderators were from leading organisations including Shell; Chevron; Neptune Energy; Hydrogen UK; IBM and many more. 

Gabrielle Gauthney, European Public Affairs & High Representative of the Chairman and Executive Officer to the European Institutions at TotalEnergies, said in the opening keynote speech that: “We are moving together with society towards changing our mix of energy production and sales”.  

“The biggest thing is to decarbonise our power and heat system, and then transport. Power really needs to make a big shift from fossil fuels to electrification. This is the great challenge of our time. Power is the fastest growing energy market globally. As a company we are really engaging in renewable production.” 

Joining the event for a fireside chat, Torbjorg Klara Fossum, VP Global CCS Solutions, MMP Low Carbon Solutions for Equinor said: "There is an upward trend for CCS. The number of projects in the world are increasing for the fifth year in a row, and that is very good, but there is still a long way to go as well. If you consider all of the CCS projects in operation or under development, together they will deliver around a few million tonne a year capacity. By 2050 we need to get to a billion tonne a year capacity."

In the opening panel ‘Hydrogen and Carbon Capture – Redefining collaboration and Future Partnerships within Oil and Gas’ moderated by Annet Stones, Sustainability & Green Energy at IBM, the panel discussed developing high capacity and long duration of hydrogen storage in the age of energy transition and how industry can understand the future of carbon capture and carbon tax.

Speaker Miriam Archer, CCUS Digital Manager, SLB said: “In order to scale the CCS industry, we need innovation and collaboration from all directions.”  

Taoufik Ait-Ettajer, Subsurface Manager, Technology, E & P, Repsol echoed this stating: “We need to push on the component of the people. We must go faster, and to go faster we need good technology, but not just technology itself. We need talent.”   

Annet Stones said: “Digitalisation is the Facebook of the energy transition. You need to connect and have the platform to bring people together to exchange knowledge. Digitalisation is a component to stitch everything together.” 

Jon Gibbins, Director and Professor of Carbon Capture, UK CCS Research Centre ended the session by saying: “CCS puts the net in net-zero.” 

Energy transition is a team effort, and Shane McArdle, CEO, Kongsberg Digital said: “Everyone must contribute to this topic. There is no silver bullet, there’s 10 bronze bullets. The technology that ties it all together is the digitalisation element. This has the power to change things, if you can measure something through having the correct data you can change things. Then from a grassroots level, you can change it on an industry level.” 

On the ‘Digital Twin Tech talks – Future Experts on Data and Decarbonisation’ panel, the speakers discussed how technology can be the enabler for energy transition; how to improve operational efficiencies and reduce overall emissions through a Digital Twin; understanding the value of integrated, contextualised data for energy transition and the connected Digital Twin and data interoperability. 

Hari Ramani, General Manager, Digital Innovation, P&T Technology, Shell said we are on that cusp of combining the data and the insights to lead us towards action in a holistic and integrated manner, where digital twins will seemingly play a key role in asset sustainability and offsetting carbon emissions. 

“When it comes to digital, we are still learning and trying to fully implement it. Things are starting to change, but it must go at an accelerated pace. We need to be more open at sharing our perspectives, especially at what worked, what didn’t work, what are some of the pitfalls that we need to avoid and what really has turned into success for each one of us. I envisage a time when we are sharing, not just data and some of our experiences, but some of our algorithms which help us in the longer run,” said Hari. 

“When you start looking at some of these other technologies that connect with other platforms like digital twin, you start to redefine the way in which our industry can operate. First and foremost, we have sharing in our DNA. We just have to make sure we make this consistent across all the perspectives, especially on digital, and we need to push ourselves more, in terms of sharing more of or experiences, but also more of our successes and failures, so that everyone learns from those, and we don’t keep repeating each other's mistakes” he added. 

In the panel ‘Exploring Mobility and Sustainable Transportation – Measuring the Impact of NGV, LNG and Biofuels’ panellist William David Hartell, Managing Director, Stellae Energy Ltd explained that one of the most important things to work on is the concept of the circular economy. By “trying to make use of things [we are] going to reduce the carbon footprint because it will go on to have another life after its first use. This will help us in our scope 3 emissions and our customers in their scopes 1 and 2” he said. 

Collective action and collaboration between policy makers, innovators and operators has reached a critical point. Joshua Haacker, Chief Investment Officer, OGCI Climate Investments said: “We're all participants in the energy transition. We have to manage decarbonization as a transition, along with the emission rates, profiles and carbon intensity of the assets that are already here.” 

Measuring ESG has become increasingly important for investors and aligning economic and sustainable practices is key for both shareholders and investors. Alvin See, Integration Strategy, Carbon Management, SLB said: “The industry that we work in is the largest commodity and has the largest impact. If we can make a change in what we do, it does ripple through and flow through down the chain to every single product – plastic, materials we use – in one form or another, including transportation.” 

In the closing remarks, Bryan Kaus, Director, Commercial and Business Improvement, Phillips 66 encouraged people to make a change. He said: “There’s no such thing as perfection. We have to be in it to win it. This is a very real and serious dialogue we are having. It is through critical thinking and engagement within this space that we will solve these problems.”