Matthew Russell, Executive Vice President for LNG, Siemens, on the key areas for future global industry growth and progression
What do you see as the role of LNG in the evolving global energy mix and how do the future prospects for LNG compare with those for other fuels, including renewables?
The world faces many pressing challenges. Chief among these is a growing population in which one billion people are without access to power and record high levels of CO2 emissions. Addressing these issues and meeting future energy demands will require a mix of both renewables and hydrocarbons, most notably natural gas/LNG. There is certainly regional context when it comes to fuel type and power generation, but LNG and renewables will have to be utilised in a complementary fashion.
Is the LNG industry agile enough to utilise the opportunities digital technology can bring?
Yes. Historically, the oil and gas industry has been slow to embrace new technologies. But there is no question that digitalisation brings value to LNG facilities throughout the entire project lifecycle, from concept to operation. The key going forward will be learning where we can deploy digital technologies to maximise return on investment by balancing safety, operational, and financial objectives.
Which areas is Siemens looking to expand into regarding gas and LNG?
Geographically, our focus will remain global. The U.S., Russia, and Middle East will continue to be strong growth areas while we also seek growth in Africa and Asia. From an organisational standpoint, Siemens continues to evolve from an “equipment only” supplier, to a company that can help EPCs and owners solve their risk challenges by providing financial, technical development, and strategic support in the early concept development and pre-FEED stages of projects, in addition to taking calculated risks on target EPC projects with our joint venture EPC partners.
How important is the Middle East to the company’s operations?
Strategically, the Middle East is and will continue to be a key area of focus for Siemens. The Middle East is now global with Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Oman, and the UAE continuing to extend their influence and financial positions in projects outside of their physical assets within the Middle East.
What do you see as the most important subjects for discussion at Gastech?
I think one of the most important topics for discussion moving forward will be how we can drive the lowest emissions profile across the industry. At Siemens, this is a key area of focus and one that we are addressing in a number of different ways. One specific example is with our experience in developing all-electric LNG (E-LNG) facilities.
How important is the event to the company’s business strategy?
At one time the LNG space had a very small number of elite members. In recent years, this has expanded to include new participants, including solutions providers, EPCs, buyers, investors, etc. The wall, so to speak, is coming down. Gastech is important as we continue to work in partnerships to solve today’s challenges and further the role of LNG/gas in the global energy mix.