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Experts Discuss Role of Natural Gas in Energy Transition

Natural GasPESA’s newest committee, Energy Transition, led by Marco Caccavale, Baker Hughes, and Sanjiv Shah, Simmons Energy, a Division of Piper Sandler, had a detailed discussion with experts from the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America Foundation and Baker Hughes about how natural gas will play a central role in the global energy transition and what opportunities the OFS sector can expect.

Tony Straquadine, Executive Director, INGAA Foundation, presented a study conducted by the foundation and Black and Veatch titled “The Role of Natural Gas in the Transition to a Lower-Carbon Economy” whose objective was to assess the future role of natural gas and natural gas infrastructure in a lower carbon economy from 2020 to 2040.

KEY STUDY FINDINGS

  • Natural gas will remain a significant contributor to the energy portfolio and economic growth in the United States over the next 20 years, from 2020 to 2040.
  • Natural gas-fired power generation will continue to play a key role in supporting renewable generation, meeting low-carbon initiatives and maintaining electric system reliability.
  • Natural gas will continue to serve both traditional (residential, commercial and industrial customers) and emerging sectors (e.g., LNG exports and pipeline exports to Mexico) while playing a greater role in complementing renewable generation growth.

BAKER HUGHES PANEL BRINGS OFS PERSPECTIVE 
A panel from Baker Hughes, which included Paul Doucette, Energy Transition Executive and General Manager, Global Policy & Stakeholder Engagement Leader; Jakob Paul, Americas Service Technology Leader, Turbomachinery and Process Solutions; and Steve Goldstein, Unconventional Platform Leader, Turbomachinery and Process Solutions. The panel shared insights on how Baker Hughes views the role of OFS in energy transition.

Doucette said he believes the future of natural gas in America is tied to global markets, which is driven by climate change pressure and an increasing focus on methane. He commended PESA on its Energy Transition Committee and said Baker Hughes is encouraging its trade associations to “take a hard look at how we think about climate and fracking and emissions” to find collaborate and cooperative solutions that improve the industry’s social license to operate.

He warned that if the oil and gas industry doesn’t change its thinking, it could end up like the coal industry.

“Technology is a large part of the solution when it comes to methane emissions,” Doucette said.

Paul detailed the sector’s shifting approach to emissions. In recent years, the sector has begun replacing manual reporting with the use of drones and sensors, which improves measurements. With this upgraded data, Paul sees work being done with analytics and the application of AI to eventually see continuous remote monitoring. By knowing the source of fugitive methane emissions, companies can develop mitigation plans to limit, contain and capture emissions.

Goldstein touted Baker Hughes’ work with customers that include “delivering 100% gas-powered frac fleets” and reducing turbine noise. He thinks energy transition is a gradual process and the industry is looking to transition to gas powered solutions.

If you are interested in joining the Energy Transition Committee, please reach out to PESA Vice President Government Affairs Tim Tarpley.

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