Ahead of World Oil & Gas Week,, ENGIE CEO of Exploration & Production Maria Moraeus Hanssen, discusses how collaboration is the best way for the industry to overcome challenges
What have been ENGIE’s highlights in 2015 so far?
We had no major production milestones to hit in 2015, but it has been a good year in particular in relation to our ongoing Cygnus Project. The main offshore installation scope is almost completed and drilling has started. Production start will be in the first half of next year. Overall, we have had a good year for production. Even though we have been challenged on margins, the year has remained stable and we are producing according to budget.
At last year’s World Oil & Gas Week, collaboration was a real buzz word. Why do you think it is something that everyone is talking about?
The fall in commodity prices has certainly been dramatic this last year. Over the last 5 to 20 years the oil and gas industry has managed to manoeuvre itself into unsustainable, high cost levels and those levels need to be brought down. The oil service industry is bleeding and they might not feel like there is much collaboration with the operating companies these days. But from our side as an operator in several European countries we need to be collaborating amongst ourselves – we need to create synergies within our portfolios and with other operators. In Norway, we are a single asset operator and in this instance it is especially important for us to collaborate with others.
ENGIE will work alongside Statoil, Eni Norge, Lundin Norway, OMV as part of the Barents Sea Exploration Collaboration. How can successful partnerships and JVs enhance business performance, technology innovation and development?
This collaboration in the Barents Sea is all about safety. It is a challenging area – the weather conditions, the ice… All of the companies working together in this region have experience of working in these conditions.
When working in such remote areas, it makes sense to collaborate on things like logistic services, emergency services etc… It’s not just about cost, it’s also about creating a system that works, is efficient and safe.
How can operators work better with their service partners in today’s low price environment?
This is a challenging question. Hopefully the industry can maintain continuity through these times. Today, it is very difficult to make promises. In such a disruptive environment, organisations can lose confidence and capacity. They can come out weaker, with less capacity. But it can’t be about just driving costs.
Organisations need to be careful that they don’t cut back on education and talent – they need to maintain their activity level. Exploration and production are very expensive activities, there needs to be more of a joint effort between operators and oil field services to lower costs.
Why are you participating in this panel session at World Oil & Gas Week?
I think it is important to have these opportunities to discuss important industry topics and learn from each other. There is huge inspiration to be gained from others and key lessons on moving forwards. There is a responsibility I think for individual leaders to step up and be challenged when times are challenging.
Maria will be joining World Oil & Gas Week in London from 16th – 18th November.