Sweta Sethna, chief counsel of Energy Transfer, sees investment growth in oil, gas and LNG infrastructure over the coming years. While the U.S. is scaling up its carbon capture and storage (CCS) initiatives, she doesn’t see oil and gas usage budging any time in the near future.
Sethna discussed the oil and gas industry’s growth in the CCS field with Hart Energy’s executive editor-at-large, Nissa Darbonne. Her complete 25 Influential Women in Energy profile will be available on Feb. 6.
Nissa Darbonne: I wanted to ask in terms of additional… well first, Energy Transfer has made possible an incredible amount of monetization of U.S. and North American oil and gas resources. What additional plans do you have along those lines?
Sweta Sethna: Growth, we’ll continue to invest in projects, which contribute to oil and gas infrastructure in the U.S. and also support the global demands coming on.
ND: Natural gas in particular, I imagine.
SS: And LNG as well.
ND: And then CCS, I'm seeing more and more projects include CCS as part of Newbuild Pipe and CCS in conjunction as an add-on to existing pipe – is Energy Transfer working along these lines as well?
SS: So you know, CCS has grown globally more than 30% in the couple of years. And as we may know, the United States is right around the ballpark. The U.S. is the largest CCS operator of initiatives that cover CCS, their proposals in the works or under construction. So we'll continue to see that growth in that field.
ND: I imagine your customers themselves, both the customers that you're taking resources from and put in and shipping, and then also the customers on the other end that are receiving these resources – I imagine both sides of these are also asking for the CCS add-on to it.
SS: So we are still in transition and you know, but there's no escaping it. And with the new laws coming in, I think everybody needs to have those initiatives. Sooner better, the sooner the better. And you know, we always try to be ahead of the curve, so, you know, we are trying to figure that out as well. And hopefully we'll have a substantive plan soon.
ND: And then the next five to 10 years in the industry, do you think it would look very different from today or what might it look like?
SS: Oil and gas is not going anywhere. It's still a very valuable resource, but I do feel that the demand sources are going to change. For example, in the oil sector, I think chemicals will continue to be the demand the main source of demand for oil. The energy mix is changing, so somehow we'll have to integrate renewables in the mix, but the demand and the industry itself will continue to grow. The Permian will continue to be important and you know, we will need capital discipline. We will have to continue shareholder return to keep the industry relevant, but we are optimistic.
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