Statoil & Hydro Oil to Merge Activities

A very interesting article and certainly a major shake up in the Industry is the merger of Statoil and Hydro’s Oil & Gas activities which will create the world’s largest offshore operator.  The article goes on to express the key characteristics for the new company (listed below), the production facility of 1.9 million barrels of oil/gas a day and the benefits for the shareholders; but no where does the article talk about the Monopolistic position that could be caused by two massive companies in one industry merging.

Key characteristics of the new company:

• Strengthened production and development portfolio – in Norway and internationally

• Presence in nearly 40 countries

• Extensive exploration program and acreage

• Proven technology and project execution skills

• World-class gas value chain

• Integrated refining and marketing, with substantial trading positions

• Commitment to renewable energy, carbon capture and sequestration

 To read the full article click the link below

 Statoil & Hydro Oil to Merge Activities




Exclusive Interview with Alan Farrimond, Managing Director, PANDUIT Europe

For our next on-line interview we have been lucky enough to interview Alan Farrimond, MD, PANDUIT Europe.

For those of you who dont know,  PANDUIT™ is a global leader in wiring and communication products, delivering end-to-end solutions in support of demanding electrical and networking requirements.  Therefore the interview is certainly different from our first two interviews with Lord Browne of BP, and Bob Springs of Draka, which im sure you will find very much of interest.  Click the link below to read the interview on our web-site:

1) In a market place where innovation and (new) technologies are key, what is PANDUIT™ doing to ensure it remains a market leader?
PANDUIT™ has developed away from selling products to providing complete solutions using industry leading technology for greater performance. By working closely with industry leading companies such as Cisco, RIT, Hewlett Packard and others in the PACT ™ (PANDUIT™ Alliance for Converged Architecture) programme we develop products outside our core range which provide complete, interoperable solutions to the end user. PANDUIT™ invests 10% of net sales in research and development which is carried out by PANDUIT™ Laboratories – a collaborative effort between dedicated research engineers, scientists and application experts from PANDUIT™, PACT ™ and other research organisations. PANDUIT™ Laboratories build the benefits that customers want into our products. Working with Cisco we created the new NET-ACCESS™ cabinets which allow easy access for MACs and into which Cisco switches fit neatly.

2. How does PANDUIT™ differentiate itself and its products in a highly competitive industry?
PANDUIT™ is famous for its excellent quality research, design and engineering. PANDUIT™ products and solutions meet the highest industry performance standards to guarantee the end user reliability where it is needed most. We build on this solid foundation further by working with the key industry players to create fully interoperable solutions which ensure maximum productivity and bandwidth for customers’ networks.

3. What are the main goals of PANDUIT™ in the next five years?
We will focus on our core values: Innovation, Quality and Service. This will mean continuing to develop products with exceptional design features and benefits to differentiate PANDUIT™ from all other companies. Over the next five years our innovation focus will lie in areas such as convergence, virtualisation, security. We will continue to partner with the industry leaders to provide integrated solutions of superior quality, delivered on time to earn customer preference. We will position PANDUIT™ as the industry leading provider of innovative, high quality solutions.

4. What do PANDUIT™ see as the biggest challenges you face in accomplishing your goals?
One of the biggest challenges facing PANDUIT™ is the commoditisation of infrastructure products. We are countering this by investing heavily in research and design to create the next generation solutions which really add value to our customers’ business. Coupled with our innovative solutions with superior customer service, delivery and technical support, we aim to earn customer preference in markets which value quality solutions.

5. What advertising advantages does the internet offer PANDUIT™ that other media do not provide?
The internet provides global reach to our customers. PANDUIT™ can provide the most up to date information via the internet to a customer on an oil rig in the North Sea, on a construction site in Dubai or in an office in China. There is no delay while information is mailed out and many people across the world can view the same PANDUIT™ information simultaneously. We have invested very heavily in our online catalogue and in our presence on respected online directories in order to reach customers wherever they may be.

6. Internet advertising revenues reached a new record of $4.2 billion at the end of the third quarter, which is a 33% increase from last year, what percentage of thePANDUIT™ marketing budget will be spent on the internet?

PANDUIT™ recognises the importance of the internet to many facets of our business. We are looking to the internet to provide great benefits to us and our customers. Going forward we will be increasing our budget on internet projects to around 10% of the marketing budget which will include globalising our website; translating it into many languages and adapting it for international use.

7. How can PANDUIT™ ensure they remain the number one manufacturer of network and communication products with the emergence of companies providing cheaper products from India and China?

PANDUIT™ targets and will continue to target those markets which recognise and demand innovation and quality. Many customers recognise the importance of quality and are happy to invest in quality solutions to gain maximum benefits from their networks systems in the long run. The ROI on quality infrastructure products is far better than that on cheaper products.

8. What do PANDUIT™ perceive to be the biggest threat to your company?

Commoditisation is a threat, but one we are confident we can counter by providing customers with exceptional solutions which meet their needs and exceed their expectations. We provide products which are reliable and won’t let our customers down. One of our central values and core aims at PANDUIT™ is to provide exceptional service right from the first point of contact to an on-going support post installation. We have a “one call does it all” philosophy, meaning we go out of our way to make it easy for the customer to do business with PANDUIT™and to be truly satisfied with PANDUIT™solutions. This approach and level of support is simply not there with cheaper options.

9. What career opportunities does PANDUIT™ offer to future employees?

We are a global company with sites all around the world and many interesting, international projects. PANDUIT™ offers its employees possibilities to work on highly interesting projects and to move internationally to any one of our global locations. We offer on-going training and development to our staff and invest heavily in winning, developing and keeping the best people.

10. With over 80 PANDUIT™ locations across the world, how can you ensure that the PANDUIT image of ‘Quality, Service and innovation’ is maintained?

PANDUIT™ has very strong international communication channels internally that all messages flow quickly and free from distortion from headquarters in the US out to the regions of the world. All employees in PANDUIT™are on the same page which helps ensure that all activities are undertaken with our central values in mind. That an organisation operates on a global basis should be no barrier to ensuring the central values inform the way all tasks and actions are executed.

Our thanks to Alan Farrimond for taking time out of his busy schedule to answer our questions.

 Click the link below to find out more about Alan Farrimond

Will wind energy make money?

A very interesting article in the energy and renewables news  was the story on,

 Alternative Energy predicts strong growth ahead

 The news  story provides a small insight into the wind energy industry and who are the major players about to invest more money in the industry as they see it now being more profitable.

Excerts of note include that

”Only about 1 percent of all U.S. power, or 10,400 megawatts, comes from wind. That’s enough to power between 4 million and 9 million homes for a year.”

however with the latest technology more companies see it as being profitable

‘Spain’s Iberdrola, the world’s largest wind power generator by capacity, is one that is looking to increase its U.S. footprint. It recently announced plans to buy Scottish Power, which owns wind assets in the U.S.

BP Alternative Energy and Shell WindEnergy, units of the two global energy giants, are also looking to grow here.’

Read the article in full by clicking the link below, 

Internet Ad spending is now above $4.2 Billion by Q3, and Yahoo has forced to reorganize due to pressure from Google

With Internet advertising revenue now reaching over $4.2 Billion at the end of the last quarter, which is an increase of over 33% on this time last year, the following article is about how Yahoo is restructuring in an attempt to keep up with Google. Yahoo reorganizes under pressure from Google


Internet search giant Yahoo has announced a major shake-up of its business aimed at increasing advertising revenue, a strategic response to gains by rival Google. Under the new structure, Dan Rosensweig will step down as chief operating officer in March of next year and the company will be divided into three groups, one devoted to technology and two which will be “customer focused”, Yahoo said.


The moves appeared to be a response to declining financial performance and criticism the company has become too thinly spread, too focused on new products, and too bureaucratic.


These observations were recently leveled at Yahoo management by a senior vice president of the Californian company, Brad Garlinghouse, in an internal memo leaked to the press in the United States.


Garlinghouse called his memo the “Peanut Butter Manifesto”, implying that the company’s activities were spread too thinly, like peanut butter on toast.


“We’re moving aggressively to deliver the most possible value to our key customers — audiences, advertisers and publishers — and seize the major new opportunities we see ahead for the Internet,” said Yahoo chief executive Terry Semel in a release.


The executive heading each of the new three groups will report directly the Yahoo chief under the new structure.


“We plan to drive growth and profitability by leveraging our deep audience insights to create a full-fledged advertising network,” he added.


Chief financial officer Susan Decker will become the head of a newly created Advertising and Publisher Group intended to “lead the transformation of how advertisers connect with their target customers” on the Internet, Yahoo said.


A search is on for someone to replace Decker, who has been chief financial officer at Yahoo since 2000.


The firm, based in Sunnyvale, California, is also seeking someone to head a new Audience Group with the mission of creating “unique, tailored and engaging experiences” for Yahoo users.


Chief technology officer Farzad Nazem will continue in his position but he will be in charge of a group with a mandate to speed innovation, particularly of advertising platforms that build on Yahoo’s Project Panama network.


Although Yahoo is a leading site on the Internet, its ability to convert user visits into revenue has been flagging in comparison to lucrative techniques employed by online search rival Google.


Yahoo’s stock price has suffered this year owing to the firm’s failure to effectively “monetize” its online services and generate revenues sufficien to impress investors.


For the third quarter, Yahoo reported a 37-percent slump in net profit to 159 million dollars compared to 254 million in the same period a year earlier.


For the same period, Google announced it had almost doubled its net profits to 733 million dollars.


“Our new structure gives us the opportunity to draw more fully on Yahoo’s deep bench of talent while also increasing accountability, reducing bottlenecks and speeding decision-making,” Semel said.


“We’re putting the right people in the right places to execute our focused growth strategy.”


Yahoo said it was moving aggressively to take advantage of growth opportunities on the Internet.


Moves made by Yahoo during the past month included partnerships with more than 150 US newspapers to deliver content online and a mobile telephone advertising alliance with Vodafone.


Yahoo decided to acquire the website Bix, which is devoted to online amateur talent contests. Yahoo also finally rolled out its new Panama Project search advertising platform.


The management changes will take effect at the start of January and the restructuring would be completed by the time Rosensweig leaves at the end of the first fiscal quarter of the year, according to Yahoo.

 Internet ad revenue rises to $4.2bil in Q3

For your information if you click on the link below it will give you the article

It is like the second wave of the Internet, but this time I dont think the bubble will burst?

Do you think Blair is right to spend £20 Billion on Nuclear Deterrent?

In today’s lead story in  Tony Blair confirmed that the UK will spend £20 billion to replace the Trident Nuclear missle system with a new submarine based deterrent. Having just gone to war in Iraq over ‘Weapons of Mass Destruction’, how can the UK persuade other countries to stay non-nuclear when they are spending so much money on upgrading the current arsenal

Full story below or click the link. 

Blair to spend £20 Billion on new nuclear deterrent


UK Prime Minister Tony Blair today confirmed that his Government will seek to update Britain’s nuclear deterrent with a new generation of submarines that will cost between £15 ($38 billion) and £20 billion ($50 billion). Mr Blair presented a White Paper approved by the British cabinet this morning that recommends the replacement of Britain’s fleet of four nuclear-armed submarines when they come to the end of their service in 2024.


Mr Blair said that a new nuclear fleet would take 17 years to design, build and test so a decision would have to be taken next year. He said that the final cost of the submarines would consume 3 per cent of the defence budget over the coming three decades.


The life of Britain’s D5 Trident nuclear missiles, which are also used by the US, can be extended until 2042, Mr Blair said, so no decision was needed on their future was needed now. But he added that he would be writing to US President George W. Bush to seek American collaboration in developing the next generation of missiles.


In a concession to Labour backbenchers who oppose Britain’s nuclear capabilities, he said that the fleet might only need three submarines, but that a final decision would depend on their design. Two submarines would not be enough to ensure that one is at sea at all times. In another offer to rebel MPs, Mr Blair said the plan also envisaged a 20 per cent reduction in the UK’s stockpile of nuclear warheads: from 200 to 160.


“Ultimately, this decision is a judgment, a judgment about possible risks to our country and its security; and the place of the deterrent in thwarting those risks,” he told the House of Commons. “The Government’s judgment, on balance, is that though the Cold War is over, we cannot be certain in the decades ahead that a major nuclear threat to our strategic interests will not emerge.”


Mr Blair said that the nuclear ambitions of countries such as North Korea and Iran and the potential connections between those regimes and international terrorism meant that it would “be unwise and dangerous for Britain, alone of any of the nuclear powers, to give up its independent nuclear deterrent”.


He criticised as naive the thought that Britain could persuade other countries to disarm by abandoning its nuclear program. “More likely, they would construe it as weakness,” he said.


But he acknowledged the opposition that the Government is likely to incur in its commitment to the nuclear deterrent.


“There are perfectly respectable arguments against the judgment we have made. I both understand them and appreciate their force,” he said.


“It is just that, in the final analysis, the risk of giving up something that has been one of the mainstays of our security since the War, and moreover doing so when the one certain thing about our world today is its uncertainty, is not a risk I feel we can responsibly take.


“Our independent nuclear deterrent is the ultimate insurance.”


The Conservatives, on whose votes Labour may have to rely to approve the plan, offered their immediate support for a new nuclear fleet.


Tory leader David Cameron said he agreed with the Government’s White Paper “on substance and on timing” but urged that a decision on whether a fourth submarine is needed not be taken until 2020.


The replacement of the Trident fleet is expected to safeguard more than 15,000 jobs in Britain’s defence and shipbuilding industries and was welcomed today by arms manufacturers and the submarine-building yard at Barrow, in Cumbria.


But it has already aroused significant criticism from anti-nuclear campaigners, a former defence minister and the Anglican church. This northern summer, 19 bishops and the Archishop of Canterbury described Britain’s weapons of mass destruction as “evil”.


This morning the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament , supported by a clutch of Labour backbenchers, launched an “Alternative White Paper”, saying that nuclear weapons offered no deterrent against terrorism and that Britain should take the lead in multi-lateral nuclear disarmament by letting its nuclear program expire in 2024.


Labour rebels also spoke out against the short period of consultation before the House of Commons votes on the proposal – just three months – and the Government’s intention to “whip” the vote on what should be a matter of conscience.


“If the government is really serious about taking into account the views of its own backbenchers and others, then they would extend the consultation timetable and also allow a free vote,” said Linda Riordan, Labour MP for Halifax. “I suspect though, they have already made up their minds.”


Michael Meacher, Labour MP for Oldham West and Royton, said: “If greater security is the defining factor, then the UK absolutely should not replace Trident. It answers no threats that we currently face and in fact creates more.”

Interview with Lord Browne of Madingley, Group Chief Executive, BP about the ‘Purpose of Business’

 I am aware of two overly simplified views about the role of business, and I believe they are both wrong. The first says the purpose of business is to make money and to deliver something called shareholder value. The second says we should do those things, but also that, to balance what by implication we are taking out of society in the form of profits, we should pursue a programme of “corporate social responsibility” – a programme of good works and philanthropy which is distinct from the business we are actually doing.

Why are those ideas too simple?

First, I do not think a business which just generated money would be a very good business. It would not invest in the future, for one thing; it would not develop people, ideas, markets or new products. Business is surely about the long term and not just about tomorrow.

Second, responsibility is not something to be added on as an afterthought or as a public-relations gloss.

Business is about something more complex. I believe a good, successful business is part of society and exists to meet society’s needs. That is the purpose of business at the highest level.

We in business need to make money to reward those who have trusted us with their investment, but that is not our primary purpose. We also need to behave responsibly, but I think responsibility comes through what we do and the way we do it, not by adding on some extra activity or by adopting distracting concepts such as the triple bottom line.

We are fulfilling our purpose by supplying goods and services at a price people can afford and in a manner which makes the activity sustainable. That is complex rather than simple, but it is how business really works.

Complexity: An Example

Let me illustrate what I mean by talking about one of the major projects BP has been undertaking over the last few years. Following the fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989, the Soviet Union, which had been in place for more than 70 years, began to come apart. The countries which had been part of that union began to assert their independence, some for the very first time. One of those countries was Azerbaijan, whose territory contains some of the first known oil fields in the world.

A hundred years ago Baku, the capital city of Azerbaijan, was one of the great oil cities of the world. By 1990 the oil industry in Azerbaijan was run down and in decline. I remember my first visit vividly, driving from the airport past the sort of nodding-donkey oil rigs which feature in films about the 19th century and early discoveries in Texas.

In Azerbaijan those rigs were still there in 1990, and they were surrounded by open pools of oil.

In our judgment the best prospect for new oil in Azerbaijan was under the Caspian Sea, in water depths Soviet technology had found impossible to penetrate. After a substantial negotiation with the new independent government in Baku, and with the new state oil company they had created, we confirmed the presence of a series of giant oil and gas fields.

Azerbaijan is some way from the main oil markets of the world, so as well as finding and developing the oil, we had to find a way to transport that oil out of the country.

We looked at many options, including the possibility of a pipeline south through Iran to the Persian Gulf, but we came to the conclusion that the best, safest and most commercially attractive route was through Georgia (another newly independent state) and Turkey to the port of Ceyhan on the Turkish Mediterranean coast. That meant installing a pipeline of 1,100 miles through some complex territory, close to some environmentally sensitive sites, and across countries where land ownership and even borders are not always certain.

Sixteen years later, that pipeline is about to be commissioned for the first time. This summer, a million barrels of oil per day will flow through from the Caspian to Ceyhan and into the world market.

At the same time, we will continue the process of constructing a parallel natural gas pipeline to supply local needs and eventually contribute to gas supplies for southern Europe.

The total investment so far, which we and our partners have made in the greater Caspian area, is around $15 billion. The complexity of the process from the beginning point in 1990 to first oil in the summer of 2006 is remarkable.

We have had to manage not just the engineering and all the associated technology of constructing an oil development and major pipeline, but also all the issues of local politics in states that are just developing the structures of government Westerners take for granted. We have had to agree on everything with three governments, each in a different stage of development:

  • with Turkey, as that country approaches a crucial stage in its relationship with Europe and the West
  • with Georgia, first under President Eduard Shevardnadze and, following the Rose Revolution of 2003, with the new government of President Mikhail Saakashvili
  • and with Azerbaijan, under the first post-Soviet administration of President Abulfaz Elchibey, then under the restored authority of President Heydar Aliev and his son, Ilham

We have had to be aware at all times of the complex nature of the politics of the region, including the presence of a Kurdish minority in eastern Turkey, the conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia, and the proximity and influence of Russia.

We also have had to manage environmental issues both in the Caspian region and along the pipeline route. We have had to develop a local workforce and all the skills necessary for a major project.

In a world characterised by terrorism, we have had to ensure that the line is secure at all times. We have had to work with local communities and with the governments of many of the surrounding states and the international community because a development on this scale affects everyone. The United States, for instance, has pursued under each of the last three administrations a clear policy of support for the independence of former Soviet states, and without the active support of the U.S. government, the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline could not have been built.

We have also worked with international financial institutions in both the public and private sectors to ensure that, with their support, the communities along the pipeline’s route can benefit from the increased flow of revenue the line will bring.

Their investment is important, but we have also begun our programme of investment in local enterprise because we are conscious of the potential this project brings to an area which has seen only very limited development activity in the past.

In developing the Caspian project and the BTC pipeline, we had to be involved with issues well beyond the narrow technical and commercial dimensions. We have dealt issues of human rights, land ownership and environmental impact in close detail at every stage of the project’s development. For the people running the project, those issues are not add-ons. They are not questions of public relations dressed up in the language of “corporate social responsibility.” They are not something we do to win prizes. They are integral elements which must be managed to make the project viable.

For a major project such as this, the key is sustainability. Can we make an investment in a manner which will endure over decades to come? Can we produce and develop oil and gas, then bring it to market, without damaging the environment, the people or the local economy of the places in which we are working? Can we work with everyone on the basis of long-term, enduring mutual advantage?

The development of the Caspian fields and the construction of the BTC line is a very special story, but it is not unique. I could similarly describe the work we are doing in Russia, Angola or Indonesia. The details are different, but the message would be the same. In each case, the way we work is crucial. Our responsibility lay in our activity and the manner in which we pursue that activity. Responsibility is not additional; it is absolutely integral.

I am sure many, many other companies could describe their projects and experiences in similar terms.

Why Does This Matter?

In our business, responsibility matters because the world needs energy, and that energy is only going to be developed by business – by companies, some private, some owned by government.

We will only be able to maintain the flow of energy the world needs if companies responsibly explore, develop new paths in science and engineering, train people and invest. Given the time scales involved, they can only do that if they carry a degree of trust from the societies of which they are part. To understand why such trust is so important, it is necessary to look at the facts behind the focus on energy security which has developed in the United States and other countries over the last few months.

First, the demand for energy is growing. In the last 30 years, energy demand worldwide has doubled. In the last 10 years alone, demand has risen by 23 per cent. The reasons for that growth are the continuing increase in population numbers, which are rising by a quarter of a million every day, and the spread of prosperity – the fact that more and more people, especially in China and India, can now afford to buy the energy they need to improve their living standards.

Second, for the moment there is no viable alternative to hydrocarbons. Some countries are developing nuclear power, but there are issues of security and costs to take into account. As the International Energy Agency (IEA) predicts, demand will be almost 20 per cent higher 10 years from now than it is today, and the sources of supply for that growth will be oil, natural gas and coal. Given the convenience of use, oil and gas will be the most important.

Third, while there is no physical shortage of oil or gas, the available supplies of oil and gas are concentrated. Within 10 years, 70 per cent of the world’s oil consumption will be traded, and three areas will account for the overwhelming bulk of that trade: West Africa, Russia and the Middle East.

The fact that the world seems set to become increasingly dependent on supplies from countries such as Iraq, Iran and Nigeria does make consumers nervous.

I think people are also nervous and uncertain about the environment, in particular about the implications of the growing emissions of carbon dioxide. Those emissions are growing at a rate between 1.5 and 2 per cent a year, with the result that the concentration of carbon in the earth’s atmosphere is rising towards the level at which many scientists believe the world’s climate could be seriously affected. The science is incomplete, of course, but the evidence is mounting, and the case for precautionary action to limit emissions is overwhelming.

All those factors are creating a sense of insecurity and anxiety. The evidence is that consumers want energy supplies which are safe and secure: safe in the sense that they are clean and can be used without destroying the world’s environment, and secure in the sense that they come from places which are trusted as trading partners.

Restoring a Sense of Security

What can be done, then, to restore some sense of security?

The first priority is to develop and extend mechanisms to provide the first level of defence when things go wrong.

The IEA was created in the 1970s in response to the supply shocks and uncertainties of the time. It has worked very effectively, with a response mechanism in place, to allocate resources in times of shortage.

When hurricanes hit the United States last summer, the response of the IEA in bringing in supplies from Europe was rapid and highly effective. It ensured that the market stabilised and that very few people were left short of the energy they needed despite all the disruption of production and refining along the Gulf Coast.

I believe the IEA now needs to be extended to match the changes that have taken place in the market. We need to include the new major consumers, such as China and India, and to draw in key producers like Russia and the member nations of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries. We should also consider extending the coverage of the IEA beyond oil to natural gas, because that, too, is now crucial to energy security. Everyone has an interest in the market being stable, and the IEA is a mechanism of proven effectiveness in achieving that stability. That is the first step, and it could help remove some of the shorter-term uncertainties.

For the longer term, the key is investment. Investment is necessary in as many sources of supply as possible, and also in the infrastructure to bring that supply to market. In both cases it is important to develop diversity so that, as far as possible, no one is reliant on a single source of supply, delivered by a single route.

It is not enough, however, just to develop existing known supplies and establish infrastructure. Investment is also needed in science and engineering.

In the last 20 years, the average recovery factor – the amount of oil or gas which can be produced from any particular field – has risen from around 30 per cent to more than 40 and, in some cases, more than 50 per cent. Increasing the recovery factor of fields in North America by just another 10 per cent would add 10 billion barrels to reserves.

In the last 30 years, the limit to the depth of water in which drilling is possible has increased from around 100 feet to more than 6,000 feet. I do not believe we have yet reached the limit, and extending our current capability by another few thousand feet could open up significant new possibilities around the world.

Investment is also needed in creating the options for the longer-term future: developing sources of energy which, over time, can replace oil and gas and help us move to a low-carbon economy.

Investment is the key to security, and that investment will made by business.

Public policy is very important. Governments can set the right incentives and enable the market to operate effectively. They can remove barriers to trade and the flow of capital. They can price externalities, such as carbon, in ways which encourage the development of innovation and alternatives. They can agree on mechanisms to respond to immediate shortages. But the element of society which responds to incentives is business.

The process of investment is continuous, and the effect of all the investment made by the oil and gas industry over the last five years will become clear in the coming months and years. In total, the industry’s private companies alone invested more than $550 billion in exploration, development and production between 2000 and 2004. The state companies have also invested significantly, and BP alone invested more than $50 billion. I believe such cumulative investment will help to stabilise the market in the short to medium term.

For the long-term future, the industry is investing in gas and in alternative energies such as wind, solar power and the fascinating technology of carbon capture and storage, which allows one to separate out, and securely store, the carbon from hydrocarbons, then to use the hydrogen to produce carbon-free electricity.

The engineering of carbon-capture technology is still at an experimental stage; BP has two test projects under development. If it works, it could provide a major contribution to global energy supply and security in the years ahead. And that is what business is about: sustainability in the long term. That is our purpose and how we think about the world in which we live.

As we pursue that approach, we know we cannot succeed on our own. Our industry needs good public policy, and we need good relationships built on mutual advantage with customers, suppliers and the communities in which we operate. Perhaps most of all, we need ideas and new knowledge. We need the advances in science that we, as professionals, can apply.

Lord Browne of Madingley, group chief executive of BP p.l.c., was appointed a managing director of BP in 1991 and group chief executive in 1995. He is a non-executive director of Goldman Sachs and the Intel Corporation and a trustee of the British Museum. He is also vice president and a member of the board of the Prince of Wales International Business Leaders Forum.

The interview can be viewed at the cable directory by clicking the link below:

We would like to thank World Energy Source based in the United States who supplied us with the interview.   Who we are working in partenrship with.  See link below for more information. 

The Cable Directory interviews Robert Springs, President of Draka’s Division for Marine, Oil and Gas International.

Over the company months the cable directory will be doing exclusive on-line interviews.  First up is CEO of Draka a Mr Robert Springs.   The interview can viewed at the cable directory by clicking the following link

1. Do you continue to see the price of Copper escalating in the future? This as we know has a gigantic impact on the price of cable?
Demand for copper has risen recently due to its use as a component in a variety of applications. Emerging economies are requiring vast amounts of copper for the production of automobiles, radiators and other products, indicating that copper will remain a higher priced commodity for the near future. Because copper is a main component in cable, its market value definitely has an impact on end-product pricing. To help protect against escalating project costs, once a customer accepts our bid and issues a purchase order, we lock in the wire and cable costs using a derivative contract, which is a risk management tool used by leading corporations. We also ensure our customers get the most for their money with our conveniently located distribution centers and manufacturing facilities that allow us to operate more economically and avoid needless cost.

2. What are Draka’s key market shares and how do you see Draka developing into new markets in the future?
Draka is the only leading wire and cable provider solely dedicated to the marine and offshore industries. With our global capabilities and local resources we are able to ensure the wire and cable portion of our customers’ projects come in on time, on budget, on spec and in supply. In addition, we are committed to having a presence nearby any region where offshore drilling is taking place.

3. The oil and gas market demand is nearing its peak how do you see Draka changing to accommodate other energy sources such as Nuclear Energy and Wind farms?
Actually oil exploration offshore is booming right now so our industry is currently growing. Shipyards are full of new orders for rigs well out into 2009 and even 2010 in some cases. So Draka Marine, Oil & Gas International continues to focus solely on the offshore oil and marine business.  

4. What Environmental policies do Draka currently have?
An important aspect of Draka’s policy is the commitment to minimizing the environmental impact of its activities. This is achieved on the one hand through continuous improvement of Draka’s products and processes, and on the other by creating better conditions with regard to the installation, use and end-of-life disposal of our products. This can only be achieved with the full dedication of our employees and close collaboration between all stakeholders.

The starting point for Draka’s environmental policy is of course, that all business activities must, as a minimum, comply with current legislation and regulations. The production facilities each have their own improvement program tailored to their own particular situation. The involvement of employees is encouraged through training programs, so that every employee can make an optimum contribution to these improvements.

Draka encourages the implementation of a structured environmental management system for all operating companies. Most European locations have been accredited for many years under the international ISO 14001 standard.

Key environmental improvements have been made in recent years in the use of plastic materials. For example, the use of halogen-free materials is steadily rising, for use in both buildings and cars. In addition, a shift is taking place with regard to PVC towards less toxic plasticizing agents and additives; in Draka’s European companies, for example, the transition to lead-free PVC stabilizers is virtually complete. The reduction in the use of heavy metals such as lead is an important environmental theme, and in anticipation of European regulations (which come into force in 2006), Draka has already introduced more environmentally friendly alternatives.

With countries seeking to find new energy resources such as West Africa and Indonesia, do you see Draka expanding in or further into these areas?
Draka is committed to having a global presence to support offshore drilling by providing prompt response to our customers’ maintenance and repair needs. Our 11 global manufacturing facilities and distribution centers located in Aberdeen, Singapore and Houston enable us to help support new builds and maintenance of the fleet, serving global markets including West Africa. 

Is Draka finding it harder to compete with emerging cable manufacturers from China, the Middle East, Turkey and India? Bearing in mind their production costs can be greatly reduced by lower labour costs. 
The key to serving the global offshore market is to be in a position to quickly serve global customers. With our broad manufacturing base and global distribution system, we are strongly positioned to serve the global offshore fleet that is very mobile in the global market. Though at times some local producers may be able to produce some wire and cables more inexpensively, it is rare that they can deliver in fewer than 12 to 14 weeks, while frequently Draka has the wire and cable in stock and ready for on-time delivery from our distribution system.

How do you see Draka’s and the global demand for cable changing over the next 10 years?
As oil continues to drive the economy, companies are investing in drilling exploration, especially new offshore rig construction. A huge part of the construction for each offshore rig, comes the need for reliable wire and cable solutions to keep the systems operating properly and the oil flowing. As companies continue to turn to offshore drilling, we see the global need for unique  reliable, on-time wire and cable solutions involved in the maintenance, repair and overhauling of existing rigs as well as new rig constructions increasing.

Do you believe that the new potential powerful economies China and India will require a Draka presence?
Now that drilling and exploration are taking place in the South China Sea and Indian Ocean, there is a need in these regions for reliable wire and cable solutions, on-time delivery and support. Draka has had a presence in these markets for many years with production facilities in both China and India. 

Are there any other recent developments by Draka that our readers should be interested in?
Draka recently introduced Draka Flex-Flame HCF (Hydrocarbon Fire) cables that are designed to keep critical system applications operating during a fire and other potentially dangerous situations that can potentially arise in the harsh offshore environment. The design is based on the fire resistant elastomeric Flex-Flame (BFOU) cable, that is covered with Draka Marine, Oil & Gas International’s unique composite protection, giving the Flex-Flame HCF cables the capability to withstand high heat temperatures ranging from 750°C to 1100°C. When exposed to a hydrocarbon fire, a typical IEC 6033121 designed cable will break down after two to six minutes. In comparison, the Flex-Flame HCF cables can endure extreme temperatures up to 1100°C for up to 60 minutes, making them one of the most fire resistant in the industry.  

Draka Flex-Flame HCF cables received the 2006 Offshore Technology Conference Spotlight on New Technology Award.

Our thanks to Mr Springs for taking time out of his busy schedule to answer our questions.

You can find information about Draka at their website

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