Energy Central Power Perspectives™: Welcome Ronald Rocher, New Expert in the Oil & Gas CommunityPosted to Energy Central in the Oil & Gas Group
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- Jan 27, 2021 1:00 pm GMTJan 27, 2021 1:02 pm GMT
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The oil and gas industry continues to be one of the more critical energy markets to watch for many reasons, with the future of the utility energy mix likely to continue to be decided based on the economics and availability of oil and gas. It can be a complex market, though, and so we are always seeking thought leadership and industry expert opinion.
That’s why it’s so great that we’re able to add Ronald Rocher as a part of Energy Central’s Network of Experts. As Ronald will share In his entry to the official Energy Central Power Perspective ‘Welcome New Expert Interview Series,’ he brings years of experience all across the oil and gas business and can be a valuable person to know for anyone in our community looking to gain insights into what’s happening today and the anticipated trends of tomorrow.
Matt Chester: Can you start by giving our community an overview of your experience and expertise? How did you get involved in oil & gas and what is your role in the industry today?
Ronald Rocher: I started my energy and steel journey more than 20 years ago. I have spent a very good portion of my professional career working in global/international environments. I am an entrepreneur, an independent consultant and founder of integrAI-Tech, where we do Business Management Consulting. I hold an undergrad degree in Industrial Engineering from the Tecnológico de Veracruz, Mexico. I also hold an Executive MBA from TRIUM (a joint program by the London School of Economics -L.S.E. London, Hautes Etudes Commerciales -H.E.C. Paris, and the New York University -N.Y.U. New York). In addition, I also have participated in business management programs from the University of Stanford (Executive Corporate Program), MIT (Artificial Intelligence: Business Strategy Implications; Sustainable Energy), University of Calgary (Environmental Law, Renewable Energy Technologies and Environmental Management) and IAE business school.
Previously in my career, I’ve managed and developed global multicultural teams in the energy-steel-pipelines & electric equipment industries, conducted sourcing and supplying negotiations of large B2B contracts, and participated in lean/Agile manufacturing processes and HSE programs at several steel manufacturing facilities globally.
I am passionate about the new and evolving energy landscape. I intend to keep on going with my lifelong learning journey and research projects to assist my customers in their business strategy repositioning by integrating new alternative energy technologies, assisted by artificial intelligence.
MC: A lot of your focus in the industry is with respect to artificial intelligence. Can you share some of the key ways in which AI is unlocking new opportunity in this field?
RR: AI is opening the door for further collaboration between people and machine working together as a team in a Gestalt type of system, in which the sum of its part is greater than each of them separately. Machines are very good for repetitive tasks and that should be their focus, therefore freeing time for people to dedicate their talent to more interesting and creative jobs/applications.
MC: You’ve also spent a lot of effort focusing on how the O&G sector can incorporate renewable energy into their business model. How do you think companies should best approach this integration in a way that creates real value and progress rather than just incorporating token projects here and there?
RR: Although renewable energy technologies have been advancing at a very fast pace, O&G will continue to be the dominant force in the global energy mix for a few more decades. Although, step by step possibly leaving the front stage to the renewables industry, so O&G is taking a backstage role as a basic revenue stream and resource provider for further development of these new energy technologies.
In my view, it is also important to highlight that the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energies is part of a business model evolution, not an O&G vs renewables situation. One key point of the renewable energy technologies that is currently being addressed is that unlike fossil fuels, these are not dispatchable. They therefore need large energy storage capacity to be integrated into the overall energy system, which makes these technologies expensive when looking at the full picture. Several options are currently being investigated to address this ongoing problem, such as liquid metal batteries, geothermal heat storage, combinations of molten salts, and more. The success in creating new cheap energy storage is what will dictate the adoption rate of these renewable sources in the coming years.
MC: As you look to the coming decade in oil & gas, what do you see being the dominating trends and stories? Is it going to be the time where the oil & gas companies are transitioning to new offerings? Will companies lose their foothold? Will digital technology provide the industry with a new life?
RR: In my opinion, this changing energy landscape must happen in an orderly fashion, a well thought transition. It seems that some large O&G companies (like Shell and BP) are already taking this approach in which new technologies are starting to be envisioned to take a more center stage in their business models’ strategies, and more resources are being deployed into this direction. So, sustainable energy technologies are no longer only a “PR” tool for large international operators, but starting to be integrated into their money making business models.
For this orderly transition to occur and companies to take the full benefit of it, proper planning with the right vision, achievable objectives and implementation mechanisms must be embraced. Among the key factors intervening in this new technologies’ integration process in a given organization (regardless whether internally developed or acquired), I identify Dynamic Capabilities, Resource Availability, and Transition Management. These above elements are part of my ongoing model research, for integrating new alternative technologies and supporting my customers in their business strategy repositioning.
I think that the use of new digital technologies/AI can help the O&G industry to remain relevant, by increasing its productivity and lowering their costs in certain areas (e.g. Drilling: better assessment of potential fields, expediting time to market, increased yield ratios; wider implementation/use of robots in dangerous environments like high pressure/temperature conditions, deep offshore applications; RPA’s (Robotic Process Automation) for faster technical data collection, clustering and analysis, and/or generation of internal reporting, therefore having a more efficient and cost effective organization).
MC: Can you share with us what attracted you to the Energy Central community? What value do you get out of being a member, and as an Expert what value do you hope to impart to the rest of the community?
RR: Energy Central for me is an excellent platform where to share new ideas and debate. No single person has the absolute truth and/or can accurately foresee what the future will be in this changing energy landscape and only through this exchange of ideas innovation can flourish and hopefully new solutions to address ongoing and coming problems/situations will emerge.
To have knowledge just for the sake of having it is of no use. Knowledge shall be applied and shared with other people for the improvement of our global community.
I am very happy to be a member of this community. I look forward to establishing contact with other members for exchanging ideas, hopefully bringing an alternative point of view to the table and assisting our global community.
Thanks so much to Ronald Rocher for joining me in this interview and for his participation as an Oil & Gas expert in the Energy Central community. When you see Ronald engaging with content around Energy Central, be sure to say hi, ask a question, and make him feel welcome!