The ‘Oilpro Time Machine’ File

The ‘Oilpro Time Machine’ File

A file from ‘The Roughneck Files: Exploring Energy & Water circa 2030 (E&W~2030)’

          If in 2030 one were asked to reflect on the state of the energy & water industry in 2015, they would deem it fragmented and segmented. Whilst it sat in that broken state, one would add that the prime mover, Oil & Gas, was in transition, and incumbent Low Carbon Energy was gaining traction, market share, as well as friendly media coverage.

          An exploration into the 15 year future of constituent industries of the energy and water sector in an era of unprecedented innovation and disruptive change must be done through as many lenses as possible; the establishment, the vested, the aspiring, the ambivalent, the opposed, as well as students of future innovation, technology, and market share trends.

          These are The Roughneck Files…….

 The ‘Oilpro Time Machine File’

          On 11.Aug.02015 The Roughneck Files : Exploring Energy & Water circa 2030 (E&W~2030) published a collaborative ‘should-be’ millennial view of the energy & water industries circa 2030 and what mind set might be required to get there entitled ‘The Great Crew Change OS3’.

On 12.Aug.02015, Oilpro published their headline article ‘A Retrospective View Of A Restructured Energy Industry’ by esteemed industry writer Allen Brooks. Mr. Brooks opens the discussion with a time travel metaphor.

         The really spectacular peculiarity of time travel is that the traveller’s experience is generally seen through the same lens used to experience history and the present day. The potentiality of the future is often muted by the filters of the past and present. That is generally referred to as linear thinking.

This enjoyable, as well as extremely well researched and written article clearly demonstrates thinking beyond just a linear lens. The scenarios presented are imaginable and consistent with industry precedent, however they struggle to support the initial posit of $95 bbl oil in 2025.

As a seasoned and worldly roughneck of similar years to the author and lifelong student of technological innovation, disruption and trends, I wonder if there are just a few too many historical lens filters in play. Furthermore, a US-centric filter on this time machine might not account for the scale of global exponential change due to occur between now and 2025 nor their impact upon the prognosed consolidation scenarios.

This article fails to mention the inexorably growing link between water and energy, nor whether the Canadian Oilsands will evolve from its loss making raw material export to a profitable refined product export. Each of these factors alter the time machine lens significantly, particularly when projecting future oil prices and the state of the industry(s). Glass reflects, whereas a lens looks through and into future opportunity, it seems as though Mr. Brooks has a few shards of glass interrupting the time machine vision.

If history has taught us anything, it is two fold:

  • Predictions of the future, unless radically forward (exponential) thinking, are generally proven short sited;
  • We pretty much envision and make our own future.

This article paints a view of the future energy in 2025 through a (possibly narrow) lens of a studied seasoned professional albeit with evidence of progressive thinking uncommon to the establishment. The author’s years, opinion and rhetoric put him squarely in the ‘legacy of the Great Crew Change’ conversation.

A recommended read:

….The Roughneck Files: E&W~2030….12.08.2015

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