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Renewable resources to usurp oil and gas, survey shows

3 May 2011

Maxwell Drummond's Sean Buchan and Kevin Davidson

Renewable resources will overtake oil, gas and coal as the world’s prevailing sources of energy, according to a new international energy survey focused on the offshore industry.

The Maxwell Drummond International Energy Survey 2011, led by global executive search consultancy Maxwell Drummond, bases its assertions on responses from business leaders within major oil and gas companies in Europe, the US, Canada, Asia, Africa, Australasia and the Middle East.

It found that a vast majority of the energy sector, across all technologies, expects renewable energy to take precedence over other forms of energy in the coming decade.

Kevin Davidson, CEO of Maxwell Drummond International, said, ‘The results were illuminating on many different levels, but one discovery particularly interested us. In contrast to last year’s survey, alternative energy is now at the forefront of energy business leaders’ minds as an increasingly valuable source.

‘In 2010, oil or gas was expected to be the most substantial contributor to the energy mix in the next five, ten and 15 years. But in 2011, more than 90 per cent of respondents believed that by 2025, renewables will be the most substantial energy source.’

The survey also highlighted resource gaps in the fossil fuel energy industry, which is increasingly suffering from antinomy.

He said, ‘The industry’s current resource gaps were highlighted, particularly in reservoir and petroleum engineering, drilling and completions, field operations and subsea and marine.

‘The oil and gas sector’s poor public perception was considered responsible for the gaps.’

A majority of respondents from the energy industry expect that demand for oil and gas from emerging economies will dominate debate in 2011. Security of supply also remains a central focus of energy industry debate in 2011, coupled with environmental issues, although ecological concerns have decreased in the industry’s view over the last year.

The survey also found that a China has overtaken Eastern Europe as the next main focus for unconventional resources, according to energy industry perception.

Sean Buchan, Maxwell Drummond’s UK manager, said, ‘To capitalise on [overwhelming interest in renewables as an energy source], sectoral skill sharing is essential.

‘Over the past six months, there has been a renewed commitment from oil giants building and acquiring teams with renewable expertise. Industry debate is defined by segregated thinking of oil or coal or nuclear or renewables. Yet there is a natural synergy between energy industry disciplines. Sectors must begin to share knowledge and experience, technology, business models, operations and maintenance practices to benefit the industry, individual companies and employees.’

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