Offshore oil chief joins LR to spur energy transition shift

David Clark, 30-year veteran of oil contracting majors, sees “opportunity to reposition business”

Lloyd’s Register (LR) has named David Clark as its new global energy director, as part of wider plans at the international classification body to "reposition" for the energy transition.

Clark comes to the role from a career in oil & gas with contractors including Aker Solutions, Schlumberger and Wood Group, having spent the last four years in the North Sea offshore sector.

“LR has continuously evolved its energy business in parallel with changing client needs and market demands,” said Clark. “The emerging recovery of the oil & gas industry and the more evident renewables sector provides LR with the opportunity to reposition our business.”

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“In the last 4-5 years [in the North Sea offshore energy sector] we have seen the clear start of a transition in the energy mix, with a huge expansion in the renewables sector – from installation of a huge capacity of on- and offshore wind and advances in floating wind technologies.

“What we are after is a collective solution for the energy transition,” he added, which answer “new complexities” around areas from “interconnected power networks to storage technologies … to the different regulatory frameworks that [the different energy sectors] currently sit in, as well as the “new technology risks and technical challenges”.

Clark expects the oil & gas side of LR’s business to remain “pretty stable over the next decades” but points to the “integration of renewable power generation [into fossil fuel] operations” on offshore oil platforms and elsewhere as being a prospective market, as the “wider renewable energy expansion” takes place globally.

He noted digitalisation will be “as you'd expect, key” to the evolved energy transition offering from LR, in an “era of the digital twins, connected assets and predictive analytics”.

Among LR recent portfolio of renewable energy projects was technical grid connection for the Telsa 100MW/129MWh energy storage facility at Neoen’s Hornsdale Power Reserve project in Australia.

The first phase of LR’s restructuring is expected to run to June, when a full strategy is be unveiled.

LR produces an annual survey of energy industry executives that focuses on the technologies driving the energy transition.

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