16 November 2017
|How did you come to be in the oil and gas industry?
I joined the energy business because of the massive impact it has on our world and way of life, whilst also realizing the large challenges and dilemmas we would face in the energy sector. My mind-set, when faced with a problem, has always been about seeing how I can help solve it rather than complaining about it so I joined the energy business to see if I could make a difference.
|Aside from low commodity prices what do you believe is the greatest challenge to our industry’s future growth?
The world’s demand for energy is expected to double in size this century. A significant rise in demand is likely to come from China, India and South-east Asia. Our industry will have to provide much more energy while producing fewer greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions as Governments take action to reduce GHGs. There’s no doubt this is an unprecedented technical, economic and social challenge. The entire global economy – from power to buildings, transport and industry – will need to transform and Shell aims to be part of the solution.
|Where do you see the greatest opportunity in today’s global oil and gas markets and how are you positioned to capture this opportunity?
Natural gas can be the ‘backbone’ for the transformation of the energy system. The scalability and flexibility of gas-to-power generation options and its associated infrastructure provides a ‘no regrets’ backbone for emerging innovation along the full value chain. From combined heat and power systems to gas-for-transport, gas presents a low carbon bridge to an energy future where renewables is a significant contributor. Natural gas has a long-term role as a flexible partner to intermittent energy sources like solar and wind and Shell’s global natural gas business places us well to respond to this opportunity.
|What are the strategic priorities for your company in the next 12 months?
Shell’s strategy seeks to strengthen our leadership in the oil and gas industry, while positioning the company for growth as the world transitions to a low-carbon energy system. Strategic priorities are centred on creating a simpler company, one that offers better returns and growing free cash flow. By investing in compelling projects, driving down costs and selling non-core businesses, we will reshape Shell into a more resilient and focused company that remains unrelenting in its approach to safety and environmental and social responsibility.
|How would you describe your company in one sentence to a new client/partner/investor?
This is probably best summarized by saying: “Powering progress together by providing more and cleaner energy solutions.”
|What takeaways would you like attendees at our Asia Pacific Assembly to go home with regarding your company and your work both in Asia Pacific and further afield?
These are historic times for Asia. Recent years have seen the region’s economies enter an unprecedented phase of industrialization and urbanization. We recognise the significance of climate change and the role energy plays in helping people achieve and maintain a good quality of life. A key role for society – and for Shell – is to find ways to provide more and cleaner energy. No one pretends that we can meet these challenges overnight. They require long-term solutions. But as a business whose success depends on our ability to plan for the future, we know the value of implementing those solutions not tomorrow, but today.
|What is your proudest work-related achievement to date?
This is a difficult question since there are many things that come to mind, however they are not necessarily my achievements. My proudest moments always involve watching others reach their potential. Therefore I would say: “Seeing others achieve things they didn’t think they could.”
|What was the wisest advice you received from a mentor?
The wisest advice I ever received was to always choose roles and jobs based on what you enjoy doing. If you enjoy what you do, you’re much more likely to excel at it as well.
|Name one interesting fact about you that no one would suspect?
So far in my life I have moved 16 times, across 8 different countries.
|How do you prefer to spend your spare time?
With my wife and three daughters or playing sports (primarily Football or Golf).
I love reading fiction and have always enjoyed books like Lord of the Rings, Dune or Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, but till today the book that had the most profound impact on me is War and Peace by Tolstoy.