Review: DEVEX Young Professionals: Innovative, Leaner, Smarter. The Road Ahead.
Review by Max Sheridan
The challenges effecting our sector and more broadly the global community are significant and growing every day. DEVEX is now in its 16th year and this year’s YP event deliberately brought together a diverse mix of speakers from- academia, financial services, alternative technologies and petroleum developments to look for a way forward.
It was encouraging to see so many attendees present with standing room only and visitors from as far away as Namibia!
At a time when there is growing public frustration about the lack of progress made on addressing climate change the talks given by Charlotte Hartley and Anastasia Arkhipova were particularly relevant.
Anastasia, currently studying Environmental Partnership Management was the first speaker to address the crowd and covered waste management in Bali. The talk told the story of how she became aware of the challenges with first-hand experience during a long stay on the island. Then returning to Aberdeen she was able to research further where she devised an environmental challenges brief- a shorts summary on the issues plus recommendation for policymakers and other interested parties.
Peter Miller was the most experienced speaker on the panel and has served in several roles at BP as is currently VP for Modernisation and Transformation. His talk focused on balancing the ever-increasing need for energy with responsible developments. He drew research from the BP energy outlook which makes projections on energy use to 2040 and beyond. The audience gained an insight into day to day communication changes where lengthy formal meetings have largely been replaced by ‘huddles’ or ‘war rooms’. Overall the tone was optimistic for meeting the challenge and reducing emissions across BP.
Next was Sarah-Jane Flaws who gave an overview of her journey from Geoscience to the Financial Services where she is now working as Associate Editor for European and African Oil at S&P Global Platts. The talk covered how various types of fuel are benchmarked and prices allowing market participants to make comparisons between commodities. She focused on two main challenges for the industry in the coming years. 1) the fight to cut global emissions 2) a look downstream at the industries impacted by new regulations to cut emissions.
Charlotte from Pale Blue Dot talk focused on projects closer to home namely the Acorn CCS and hydrogen initiative. Opening by educating the audience on the energy transition and carbon budgeting. We also learned how skills set developed over the years through effective oil and gas production can be redeployed to meet the shared goals of people and commerce. Charlotte tackled the problem of getting young professionals involved head on with a call to action. ’we are the first generation to feel the impact of climate change and the last generation that can do something about it.’
Questions and answers followed with bio-fuels, coal and planning ahead for a low carbon economy among the topics.
Stephanie Best from the PESGB team rounded off proceedings by thanking the organising committee, and the conversation continued at the main conference networking session.