Timothy Goh, Vice President (Strategy & Legal), Singapore LNG Corporation
How did you come to be in the oil and gas industry?
I started downstream with a 200MW barge-mounted power-plant in 1995 in a country that no one else wanted to go to. Since then the energy industry, downstream & upstream, has been a passion of mine.
Aside from low commodity prices what do you believe is the greatest challenge to our industry's future growth?
The inability to innovate and accept new ideas and ways of doing things. There is a cultural difference between the upstream (projects) and downstream energy markets. Upstream (LNG projects) generally tends to be slow to innovate and overly cautions. In contrast the downstream commodity retail markets in oil, gas and, now, electricity are customer driven and highly innovative because they have to be to compete effectively. While the nature of mega-LNG projects that typify this industry necessitates a degree of caution companies will need to embrace innovation and change in their use of technology and approach to commercially competitive structures to prosper in the current reality of globally competitive markets.
Where do you see the greatest opportunity in today's global oil and gas markets and how are you positioned to capture this opportunity?
In our space, the growing development of a spot market for LNG in this region is an opportunity that we are pursuing. Southeast Asia is looking at a demand of around 45 mpta in ten year’s time. Of that demand we estimate about 30% or more could be short-term LNG. Even now LNG is increasingly being sold through traders and middle-men. We are positioning ourselves to be a hub, an enabler, of this promising market.
If you could wave a magic wand over our industry, what would you change and why?
The concentration of resources in a relatively few large O&G companies in the long-run will be detrimental to the development of the oil and gas industry. Our industry needs more viable mid-size companies pushing the boundaries of innovation in the areas of exploration, enhanced hydro-carbon recovery, mid-scale and modular technologies, financing options, commercial structures and the list goes on.
What are the strategic priorities for you company in the next 12 months?
A drive towards performance excellence and a focus on developing commercial structures and infrastructure for the future. Essentially strengthening the base on which we stand which is the efficient supply of reliable regasified-LNG into Singapore to meet Singapore’s needs and looking forward to the new markets in this region, which I referred to above.
What differentiates your company from similar companies working in Asia-Pacific?
As well as ensuring reliable supply of regasified LNG to Singapore, we are also focussed on developing an LNG hub in Singapore.
How would you describe your company in one sentence to a new client/partner/investor?
We are the LNG gateway into Singapore with aspirations to develop the LNG hub for the region.
What is your goal in attending this event and what takeaways would you like other attendees to go home with regarding your company and your work both in Asia and further afield?
A chance to network and interact with the industry.
What is your proudest work-related achievement to date?
Generally I don’t rest on my laurels – things get done, we celebrate the moment and then move on.
What one businessman/woman do you most admire and why?
In the oil and gas space, it would have to be my ex-boss, friend and mentor Henry Aldorf because his is a visionary and one of the smartest people that I know.
“It’s about the lowest marginal cost of production! (…stupid!)” from Henry again – very obvious but its amazing the how often we forget this.What was the wisest advice you received from a mentor?
What advice would you pass onto a recent graduate wishing to work in oil & gas?
“Be confident in who you are and don’t change to suit the environment”. Its an industry of strong personalities.
Name one interesting fact about you that no one would suspect?
I mountain bike on weekends.
How do you prefer to spend your spare time?
What's your favourite holiday destination?
All-time favourite book?
Has to be the Bible. The next favourite is (more than one) the Dune series by Frank Herbert – first book and last book are the best.
All-time favourite film?
“Streetcar Named Desire” – with Marlon Brando, Karl Malden and Vivien Leigh – great movie. Next favourites are the Lord of the Rings Trilogy for action and “When Harry met Sally” for Romcom. Seen all of those movies multiple times. Favourite genre has to be Chinese Kung-fu movies.
What three items would you take with you to a desert Island? (NB: you may not choose a boat, raft, satelite phone or a book on “Practical raft-building for Dummies”)
A survival knife, a container for water and “Weapons of the Weak: Everyday Forms of Peasant Resistance (1985) by James C Scott”. The first 2 are obvious but the last one is a book I have been meaning to read for years but never had the time and is sitting on my bookshelf.
About Timothy Goh
Mr Timothy Goh Kok Aun is the Vice President (Strategy & Legal) of Singapore LNG Corporation Pte Ltd (SLNG). He oversees the Legal, Strategy & Risk and Contracts & Procurement functions for SLNG.
Over the course of his career, Timothy has accumulated broad experience in areas such as Energy, Power and Infrastructure Projects. Prior to joining SLNG in January 2014, he was the General Counsel and Vice President (Portfolio Management) for an equity investor, where his responsibilities included acting as counsel on the company’s upstream investments and an LNG liquefaction project in Papua New Guinea, and managing the company’s oil and gas investments and associated joint ventures in North America, Australia and Papua New Guinea.
Timothy holds an LLB from Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand and an executive Masters of Science in Finance from Baruch College, City University of New York (Beta Gamma Sigma). He is called as a Solicitor in England and Wales and as a Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand.