The need for young talent in the natural gas industry

Markus Norrgård's picture
Markus Norrgård, Process Engineer, Fuel Gas Supply System, Wärtsilä
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My name is Markus Norrgård, the Young Gastech 2018 Essay Winner. I currently work as a Process Engineer within the Fuel Gas Supply Systems product line of Wärtsilä Marine Business. We, as a product line, work with the delivery of complete LNG storage and handling systems for ships using LNG as fuel. In the past couple of years, this industry has grown significantly and there are currently no signs that the developments will slow down or change in the near future. All in all, it is an extremely interesting field to be working in.

Today, I am writing about a topic I am particularly passionate about; the importance of encouraging and nurturing young talents in the natural gas industry, as well as looking at the vast opportunities the Young Gastech programme can bring to individuals, organisations and the industry.

The oil and gas industry is currently going through a period of change and will continue to evolve even more so in the future. When looking at the marine industry, more rigorous restrictions on the emissions caused by shipping are planned on being gradually implemented. In addition, when it comes to power generation, in general, the trend is clear; the emissions must be lowered. This is something which has been discussed for already a long time, but for each year that passes, an increasing number of actual actions are put in place.

As commonly known by the audience of this article, a move from oil to gas is in itself a step in the right direction; but what are the next steps? This is where the need for new talent comes into the picture. Young, visionary and bright people have, by providing new insights and perspectives to the table, the possibility to shape the future of not only natural gas but the global energy mix as a whole. Although fossil natural gas may act as a solid base, there is a need to start introducing renewables into the mix as well. This is not something which will take place overnight, but in order to meet the tougher emission requirements, there are no other alternatives available. When I talk about introducing renewables I don’t mean that traditional powerplants run on natural gas must be shut down, or that marine vessels operating on LNG must be scrapped, instead, I believe that we should consider that the best solution might be to gradually introduce renewable methane into the natural gas. This will enable the utilisation of existing infrastructure, power-generating facilities and means of transportation throughout their planned lifetime and still move over to more carbon-neutral societies. In general, I am of the opinion that we should start broadening the term natural gas and take it as a matter of course that also renewables are taken into consideration. Call it Renewable Natural Gas, RNG, if you will.

These are of course only speculations, but my main point is that there is an enormous need for the development of the industry’s workforce. As the market dynamics continue to evolve, we have an interesting journey ahead of us for many decades to come, so we need to introduce forward-thinking and innovative individuals who can tackle the new challenges and opportunities present.

The Young Gastech programme provides a head-start for anyone soon to graduate or young professionals looking to progress within the energy industry. With the speakers at the world-renowned conference representing the entire value chain of the energy industry, it gives the attendees a detailed overview of the possible opportunities and challenges in the industry. This information is extremely valuable and would be difficult to acquire elsewhere in such a short period of time. I am now talking about both the Young Gastech event as well as the main Gastech conference, in which the participants of the Young Gastech programme are given full access to.

Overall, Young Gastech is an excellent opportunity to meet lots of like-minded young people and incorporate these into your professional network. Something from which one possibly can benefit throughout the career. I would truly recommend anyone that has the possibility to attend Young Gastech. It is a unique event and I would like to conclude by giving credit to the organizers of the Gastech exhibition and conference who, by arranging it, are showing that they understand the value of young people. Not only this, but they are actually giving it space in the headlines and on the main conference since the one lucky winner of the young Gastech essay competition gets the opportunity to present there.

Young talents are needed in all industries, but just by reading the news I see it as crucial that especially the energy industry could attract a lot of talents. It has a global impact on the future, for example in how well we can mitigate the impact of climate change and in preventing pollution of air and watercourses.

If you are a student or young professional, find out more about the energy industry and how you can utilise your skills to thrive in this growing global market.