After decades of concern about energy independence, techniques such as hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling have sparked something of the oil and gas boom. This exploitation of new oil and gas sources, made economic by rising demand, involves the logistical challenges of supplying some truly remote locations. Steve Harley, President of DHL’s Energy Sector, talks about future plans for strategic development of the global energy supply chain in an interview for the Delivering Tomorrow blog.
What do you think the energy supply chain of the future will look like?
Harley: I think they’re going to be more like spaghetti. The world is going to rely on multiple energy sources from multiple locations. So we’re going to see a much more complex supply chain, with a concentration on everything from moving large windmills around to moving natural gas. It’s going to be about moving all kinds of energy around the world and transmitting it across grids and through pipelines, which I think will cover much wider cross-border areas than they do now.
How are the demands for health and safety changing and how is that influencing the energy sector? And how seriously do you take that?
Harley: We take this extremely seriously. Without the right standards for health and safety (HSSE) we don’t have a ticket to do business in the energy sector. Health, safety, and environmental issues affect everything in this industry, whether it’s about finding new locations to work, working with new methods of extracting gas – for example, from underground deposits – or putting up windmills. HSSE is a primary factor in all of these decision-making processes, and we are contracted by our suppliers on the basis of our ability to not only monitor our own health and safety but also monitor and manage the health and safety of our contractors. So this is critical to everything we do.
How do you see the influence and importance of renewable energy in the industry?
Harley: I think it’s very important to the future of the energy sector. However, I don’t believe that renewable energy is going to be the principle driver for the foreseeable future. It may make up between 20% to 30 % of our energy supply, and it will increase in importance, but the traditional sources of energy will remain the main ones. We cannot meet global demand without oil and gas.
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