You’re just going to have to be able to make decisions and execute on those decisions faster, and recognizing that for a lot of those decisions, you will not have perfect information
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Learn about the need for oil and gas companies to prioritize investments, continue to create cash flow, and make decisions quickly with imperfect information.
What do you think will separate the winners from the rest of the pack?
There are many things that as an energy company, as a government, you can go after. And I think that is the essence of the challenge.
You have a cornucopia of options right now, and I think the winners will be defined by those that have a very clear focus when it comes to investment. I think a realistic view of the level of risk that they need to take on, and the types of partnering that they need to do. And the quicker they get to execution, the better, because these things, unfortunately none of us have a crystal ball, are not easy to guess. But one thing that the energy industry has always been fantastic at is doing things technically very well. And if you can take that mindset and apply it to a slightly different world, I think that's what will define, I say the wheat from the chaff.
So, bouncing this back to you.
It’s a tough one, right? I think we've outlined, if we look at it from an energy producer perspective, through IOC and NOCs, etc., the playing field is not a level playing field. I think Middle Eastern players are advantaged per se. I think if you're a stock-listed IOC, with the pressures that you're under from the energy transition, from financial markets, from governments, legal pressures nowadays, then you've got to stretch yourself much further and you need to balance your shareholder interests with some of these other requirements.
In the end, your job is to create cash flow. In the end, your job is to create shareholder value. Right? And you do that within the framework of what the governments give you. So, you know, we all need these companies. We want them to transition, but they also need to be able to operate and do that profitably going forward.
If I was to stick my neck out and think of one thing, I think it would be the clock speed of the organizations. Jo, this connects to your point somewhat, you’re just going to have to be able to make decisions and execute on those decisions faster, and recognizing that for a lot of those decisions, you will not have perfect information.
You will probably have a greater failure rate than you had in your past. But there is a certain inevitability to having to do that to the point that the bridge is not built. You're going to have to build it as you go along and the odd plank will fall down. You have got to quickly gather up and carry on.
So, I think there's an incredible amount of discomfort that comes with this process. But I think as we know, out of discomfort comes great innovation and great opportunity. And I strongly believe the energy industry is extremely well placed to build the solutions of the future. So, my bet is on energy in defining what our future looks like.
This transcript has been edited for clarity.