Creating an energy transition that works for everyone

Kim McHugh's speech at IOGP Members' Congress, November 2023

Hello everyone – it’s great to see you all here today, and welcome to this year’s IOGP Members Congress. This is an amazing opportunity for us all to reflect on what’s been achieved over the past year and look to the year ahead. For me, in particular, this congress also marks my first year as chair of IOGP!

I want to take a moment to thank our former CEO, Iman Hill, for her hard work and commitment to IOGP, in helping to amplify and drive the efforts of the organization. And I’m delighted to welcome Graham Henley, our new CEO into the fold. We can’t wait to witness the impact you will make and look forward to you bringing deep insight and expertise from your previous role at Shell.

It has certainly been a time of change at IOGP, which in many ways reflects the ever-changing environment that we face in the sector.

Yet, despite this, we face as an industry evolving, our mission at IOGP remains steadfast – IOGP is the place where the industry comes to solve our problems. I am confident that we will continue to uphold our values, drive our mission forward, and inspire all to strive for excellence through it all.

The challenges our sector faces are ever-present. We are going through a historic transformation. We are committed to decarbonizing our industry, and creating an energy transition that works for everyone. And we want to do it whilst keeping everyone safe, and employing the best engineering practices available to us. However, the past two years have really brought home the reality of the energy trilemma – and the fact that we cannot compromise on energy security nor affordability. We need to tackle all facets of the transition together.

We talk transition and decarbonization – but it’s important to remember that there are people who are driving this change. During the pandemic, our industry, like many others, had to dramatically change its workforce structure. The following energy crisis then demanded us all to rapidly increase production – with a reduced workforce. We now face the challenge of attracting people back to the sector, but also rebuilding the talent pipeline of younger, more diverse talent, who currently don’t view oil and gas as an industry that they can build their careers in. So, I’m pleased to see that Ev MacLean will talk to this existential challenge tomorrow.

These challenges are huge – but not insurmountable. Especially if we work together. With collaboration and knowledge sharing we can transform our industry, and the perception of it. My ask of you, as members, is to help drive this partnership. By continuing the conversation about the work that we do at IOGP, you can share industry-wide insights to your colleagues and bring best practice processes to life. Through that, you’ll raise the profile of IOGP, that enrich our discussions, guide our decisions and in support of all our efforts, will deliver the impact we know they can. Just within our membership, we’re a global a network, but we’re also part of a bigger and broader network too. We aren’t here to compete with our sister organizations, but help bring them together, and make lasting positive change across the industry.

A core theme of this Congress – indeed, of this past year – is adoption. We need our members to help the industry embrace our recommendations. We know there are opportunities to improve and we are committed to achieving them. We can play a vital role in bringing the industry together, particularly around fast-moving future developments, such as the energy transition, the workforce of the future, and industry diversity. But at the same time, we must not forget our foundations, across HSSE, engineering, and advocacy. Our old friend, Fuzzy Bitar will be reminding us tomorrow, how safety remains the number one priority for our industry. For all we do, we need to ensure we all go home safely at the end of the day.

The congress is more than just a group of individuals coming together; we are a team united by our shared vision and commitment. This week is a chance to learn and share with each other, while embracing the changing landscape that we operate in. Change is a constant in any dynamic organization, and transitions are pivotal moments that shape our future. By adopting best practice, we will continue to earn our all-important license to operate. I hope you all come away from this congress with renewed focus, excitement, and ambitions for our industry.  Thank you all for being here!

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