What strange times we have been living in! Since the last newsletter the industry has been hunkered down to weather the Coronavirus storm and keep staff, family and friends safe. At the same time the profile and momentum of the Energy Transition has been growing apace, as the world eyes a sustainable recovery from the crisis. Here at Merlin we have a passion to play our part in the transition, so much so that it has been enshrined in our corporate strategy and goals. Before and throughout the lockdown, Merlin staff have been actively participating in industry conferences and discussions so that we are both part of the debate and the solution. It has been genuinely uplifting to feel the passion of our fellow geoscientists, whether from academia, small independents or super-majors. We are all earth scientists and we want to play our part.
So, what are the issues? Firstly, it is fantastic to see the progress being made in multiple integrated de-carbonisation projects in the UK, such as Acorn, Teeside and Liverpool Bay. We can be truly proud that the UK is a world leader in funding and developing these schemes. Geoscience plays a critical part in these projects both in the form of well-honed skills developed as part of the Oil & Gas busines and new learning and understanding in areas such as well and top seal integrity for CO2, bringing new challenge and excitement. It feels like the dawn of the unconventional era again!
Looking forward, the next big challenges are regulation and resourcing of the Energy Transition. Without regulation, value cannot be defined, and without that, investment will not come. Leadership also needs to be shown at Governmental level to help retain and retrain our existing geoscience practitioners, before too many are lost to the industry, and to actively encourage geoscience awareness in schools, increasing uptake of university courses. Merlin staff are part of the STEM Ambassador scheme and have been sharing their passion for geoscience with schools both locally and nationally.
Merlin are prepared to play our part as the Energy Transition gains pace. As Greta said: “You are never too small to make a difference”.