How did you come to be in the energy industry?
I grew up in Scotland in the early 80s with my dad working offshore in the North Sea as an OIM. In the early 90s, as a intern working for Amoco, I was mentored by some amazing geoscientists. Their enthusiasm for the industry firmly set me on the oil & gas industry career path.
What do you believe is the greatest challenge to our industry’s future growth?
You can’t ignore that blockchain is here and now, battery storage capacity and technology, such as electric driverless vehicles, has grown exponentially in the past 5 years. The biggest challenge to our industry is the lack of urgency to admit that the world is moving away from an oil dominated energy source and traditional ways of doing business are on their way out, not over night, but much quicker than we think.
Where do you see the greatest opportunity in today’s global energy markets and how are you positioned to capture this opportunity?
Aligning our long term business strategy and resource skillset to take advantage of integrated upstream and downstream gas & LNG growth, diversification into alternative energy sectors and focussing on core business expansion areas, especially Asia Pacific, is the key. ERCE are building a strong diversified technical and commercial team in the APAC region, understanding the needs of the clients now and importantly where they want to be in the future and yet still being sympathetic to the current financial constraints we are all working under.
If you could wave a magic wand over our industry, what would you change and why?
The staffing demographic distribution and diversity of the Energy Industry….succession planning can prove difficult as senior staff retire. The available resource pool for 20+ year experience, talented individuals, who want to work full time and can take advantage of new opportunities is limited.
What are the strategic priorities for your company in the next 12 months?
Continue to provide the same high level of service to our existing clients both here and worldwide, while at the same time establishing our company brand and services in APAC, thus growing our client base in the region. In order to support this growth, we are looking to increase our inhouse technical staff.
What differentiates your company from similar companies working in Asia Pacific?
Our experience extends across oil, gas & geothermal provinces worldwide. The original founding directors and principal staff are all still with the company providing decades of retained ‘in house’ global historical knowledge and continuity to our clients.
How would you describe your company in one sentence to a new client/partner/investor?
ERCE is the leading employee-owned Energy evaluation firm based in London & Singapore, technically and commercially strong, with global expertise and knowledge dating back 45 years.
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?
We pride ourselves on giving clients the same staff they know and trust, providing an extremely high standard of technical & commercial evaluation at a competitive price. Asia Pacific is a key growth area for the company and will be for the long term.
What is your proudest work-related achievement to date?
Not just surviving but growing our Asia Pacific business, through the recent industry downturn, has set ERCE up for a continued increase of market share and the requirement to grow staff resources.
What one businessman/woman do you most admire and why?
Elon Musk – He shows persistence, commitment and actively challenges the systems and processes in place.
What was the wisest advice you received from a mentor?
Nobody ever listened their way out of a sale.
What advice would you pass onto a recent graduate wishing to work in the energy industry?
The Energy Business is a great place to work, providing amazing global opportunities. It is rapidly evolving, so learn from your mentors, but also don’t be afraid to challenge current ways of thinking and doing business.
All-time favourite book?
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
All-time favourite film?
What three items would you take with you to a desert island?
Music, a hammock and a copper still!
About Stewart Easton
Stewart has 23 years global experience working for major operators in the oil and gas business. Before joining ERC Equipoise as Director of Geology in January 2014 and more recently COO (AsiaPacific Region), he held the positions of UK CNS Developments Manager for GDFSuez E&P, responsible for the company’s operated and non-operated HPHT & NPNT development asset portfolio and UK CNS Exploration Team Leader.
He was a member of the Global Development Committee for GDFSuez International (now Engie) which reviewed and approved all international E&P developments, such as Jangkrik FLNG. Prior to working in the UK, Stewart was a Team Lead in the Barrow Sub-Basin & NW Shelf, offshore Western Australia, for BHP Billiton PTY Ltd, Senior Geologist for ConocoPhillips in Vietnam and initially in the UKCS as a geologist with both Conoco (UK) Ltd, Aberdeen and Amoco (UK) Ltd, London.
In his current role as COO, Stewart set-up the Singapore Office in 2015 and is responsible for all technical projects, day to day operations, business development and staff resourcing for the Asia Pacific Region. In addition to this he has extensive experience in leading multi-discipline teams in onshore and offshore AsiaPacific, South America, North Africa, West Africa, Europe and the UK. His project skillset includes M&A, portfolio strategy, license round evaluation, exploration, geoscience & well operations, field development and project management of predevelopment projects. He holds a Geology BSc(Hons) from the University of Edinburgh, an MSc from Royal Holloway, University of London, was a committee member of the Petroleum Group and is a Fellow of the Geological Society and member of SPE.