The trends influencing the energy sector

Key take aways from ONS Stavanger 2022

The ONS conference is a world-leading venue for discussions on energy, technology, and innovation. We were present at the conference in Stavanger, which boasted insightful talks and debates from Elon Musk, Norway's prime minister, and industry leaders from the energy sector. In this article, Karete Kristoffersen, Director of EGGS Stavanger, and Head of Ocean Space, Espen Jørgensen, summarize the key takeaways.

Trusting and keeping 100 thoughts in our heads at the same time

This year's topic for the ONS is "trust," a term we heard used in every presentation and approached from many different perspectives. At ONS, you could listen to many powerful men and women, 50+years, in dark suits, talking about holding two thoughts in their heads at the same when it comes to the energy transition. We must think both short term and long term, especially in an oil-producing country like Norway. But, the truth is, we don't only need to keep two thoughts in our head at the same time - rather, one hundred thoughts. It's a complex and urgent issue, and we must focus on collaboration to speed up the necessary changes. Across countries, industries, traditions, and cultures, we need trust and a common ground to push the world forward. To build peace and answer the big questions of our time, we need ambitions, faith, and capability. From international diplomacy. From investors. From the young generations.

"With a war going on in Europe, a soaring energy crisis, and a world in chaos, it is more important than ever that we stand together."
- Karete Kristoffersen, Director of EGGS Stavanger
Elon Musk was undoubtedly one of the key attractions at the ONS 2022. Among other things, he emphasized the significance of oil and gas in the short term to maintain society functioning. (Image credits: Berlinergy/Twitter)

"Realistically, we have to use oil and gas in the short term, otherwise, society will collapse. (…) But we no doubt need to speed up the development of renewable energy."
- Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla

Closing the gap between aspirations and reality

The world is facing an energy shortage, and the ongoing war in Europe puts energy supply front and centre, which can also be noticed at the ONS. The energy industry is aware of its importance, and there are a lot of bold statements floating around at the same time as the transition to sustainability, and net zero is starting to get traction. In contrast to general wishes and political aspirations, the consumption of oil, gas, and coal is still growing, fuelled by the war, which also excludes energy from the market. However, at ONS, it was clear that the industry is walking toward a shift, turning sustainability and reducing environmental impact into a competitive advantage. It's a sector that is well aware of its challenges, and luckily we see a lot of concrete examples.

"The industry is walking toward a shift and turning sustainability and reducing environmental impact into a competitive advantage. It's a sector that is well aware of its challenges, and luckily we see a lot of concrete examples."
- Espen Jørgensen, Head of Ocean Space, EGGS Design

Data, data everywhere

Everywhere you looked at ONS, you heard people talking about data. But it's not only talk - it's also turning into concrete solutions that can radically shift energy operations and businesses. AI (Artificial Intelligence) and ML (Machine Learning), sensor fusion - everything connected creates new ways of operating. Both data-enabled actors like Cognite and more traditional energy companies are showing the potential of using data effectively. However, there is still a lot of human knowledge and decisions needed. And to make this tech-human collaboration work as smoothly as intended will require a new breed of design-driven innovators.

Trust on all levels is fundamental to moving forward

It can seem unexpected for a place like ONS to have 'trust' as a central theme when rationale and traditional business goals are typically valued more than soft skills. But, the energy transition will require collaboration and partnerships, so it makes perfect sense. To be able to trust and create close relationships with different cultures, people, and organizations, it will be crucial to connect and collaborate.

Aker BP’s CEO Karl Johnny Hersvik made it clear that he believes oil in 2050 will keep being a global key energy source. Aker BP wants to meet the world's growing energy needs in a forward-looking way and contribute to reducing emissions by supplying oil and gas produced with as low emissions as possible. The profits are invested and paid in dividends and tax that can be used for investments in the energy transition.

"The young must dare to challenge; those in power must be open-minded and willing to share experiences and knowledge that we can learn from."
- Karete Kristoffersen, Director of EGGS Stavanger

Astrid Skaugseth from SHE talked about creating trust by treating people fairly and by building up an equity culture. In other words: hiring due skills and understanding and giving the necessary tools each individual needs.
At our debate event at GNU Bar, Paal Holter who is CXO of EGGS Design, shared his experience working with design-driven innovation in heavy industries and with professional users.

Mixed, but urgent messages

All in all, we can say that this year's ONS was characterized by the seemingly contradictory mix of messages from the oil industries and renewable energy development, such as CCS (Carbon Capture and Storage), hydrogen, offshore wind, solar energy, and energy storage. The debates ran high about the urgent need to create a regenerative world, including a humankind that thrives and can see a hopeful future for coming generations. There were contradictions, and it's clear there is a long way to go. But it also became clear that there is a strong will and urgency to work towards a green future. The industry is highly aware of the job it has to do to get there. And, with a war going on in Europe, a soaring energy crisis, and a world in chaos, it is more important than ever that we stand together as we move forward.

Sounds interesting?

Espen Aleksander Jørgensen

You should talk to Head of Ocean Space
Espen Aleksander Jørgensen
+47 930 02 430

Karete Kristoffersen

You should talk to Director of EGGS Stavanger
Karete Kristoffersen
+47 976 57 723

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