Why support from SMEs is vital in our industry’s journey to energy transition.
Steven Saunders, Head of New Business, Imrandd
As fuel prices increase globally, and with renewed urgency to divest from foreign imports, our domestic oil and gas industry faces steep challenges to support the UK to fulfil its net zero commitment by 2050.
Business leaders across every sector must ask themselves, what changes can, should, will we make to positively impact the energy transition. For the oil and gas industry, with its long history of environmental and ethical challenges, what are the expectations and obligations we need to meet to support the transition to cleaner, more sustainable energy sources?
The route to net zero is not straightforward for industry. The expectations from the global community are high and this is especially true of oil and gas. It still generates huge revenue that drives economic growth and sustains hundreds of thousands of jobs both in the UK and globally. For many asset owners, there’s a complex balance to strike between responsibility and profitability. Questions such as “How are we working towards more sustainable power generation?” or “What can we do to reduce our emissions?” countered with “Can we optimise our operations without overspending?” And “Will automating process help us ensure safe operations or will it remove vital human input? Can it reduce our carbon footprint?” are asked every day. Innovation, both in product development and in business practise holds the key.
Social Licence to Operate (SLO) principles provide the backdrop for changes that are as diverse as they are fundamental. We have also seen an acceleration in the rise of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) principles, and these are acting as key drivers, guiding us towards better and more responsible business practices. ESG is forging commitment that demonstrates practical everyday support for the sustainability agenda – both in terms of current operations, and how business models are reshaping to align with the transition.
A fast and effective transition relies not only on operators and asset owners, it is also in the hands of businesses like Imrandd to drive the changes that will underpin the journey. Our expert supply chain has the opportunity to lead the way and draw the whole industry forward, supporting operators to optimise future decision making and operations planning to enable a more effective route to the target.
Because operators don’t always possess the in-house capabilities to make things happen in niche areas of their operations – often where tangible change can be realised – they are reliant on their supply chain partnerships for innovative solutions. When it comes down to the detail of delivery, asset owners and the supply chain cannot work successfully without the other. While inevitably, it’s the operators and Tier 1 contractors who are subject to the greatest scrutiny because of their profile, their ability to evolve and adapt – to preserve and protect their SLO – depends to a significant extent on their suppliers.
Exploring new solutions, enabling change
At Imrandd, we’ve been closely involved in the digital element of the transition process for some time. We’ve worked hard to position our business as ESG-focused, with research and development activities advancing the effectiveness of asset and integrity management on late life assets. As just one example, our REFLEX solution realises new and much improved logistics efficiencies, which in turn reduces the carbon footprint of operations.
As specialists in asset and integrity management, with niche analytics capabilities, we’re exploring further ways that we can help our customers meet their net zero targets by applying digitalisation and analytics software to optimise environmental performance offshore. Many other SMEs are doing precisely the same, and it’s important for the supply chain to have a voice in this fundamentally important debate.
To meet net zero targets businesses must go further than they have ever done before, the commitment is not reversible – we aren’t just turning down a dial, we’re changing the way the machine works, while continuing to meet the world’s energy demands. A cultural shift is well underway and although companies such as Imrandd may be small cogs in a big machine, our contributions matter. I believe there’s a common commitment across the whole industry; operators and suppliers alike, to continue investing in R&D in support of the transition – a shared appetite to make a difference.
Ultimately, it’s this shared commitment that gives depth and substance to the SLOs of many smaller businesses, and those of the operators and contractors they support.
Article on page 24: https://www.ogv.energy/magazine-item/magazine-56