Episode 9 – A conversation with business strategist Rob van Zwieteren

Downstream set to play a larger role for oil and gas companies

Not too long ago, the only way to develop a wind or solar energy business was with the support of the government. Economics did not support a viable entry into these renewable energy markets. It is only in the last five to 10 years that companies could operate wind and solar from an economic perspective, says business strategist, Rob van Zwieteren. Renewable energy is the fastest-growing energy source in the United States, increasing 100% from 2000 to 2018. We may have already reached “peak oil”. However, van Zwieteren believes demand for oil will remain high for at least the next two decades before it begins to taper off. Despite an increasing preference for renewable energy, it is virtually impossible to move to renewable energy at the scale and speed required to supplant oil as a major energy source in the short term. Significant investment in upstream and production will continue for the next 20 years, suggests van Zwieteren. Van Zwieteren joined British-Dutch multinational oil and gas company, Royal Dutch Shell, straight out of the University of Rotterdam. During his 32 years with the oil major, he has garnered extensive commercial experience in business development, procurement, and supply chain management. A Dutch native, van Zwieteren has notable international experience, much of which was in real hotspots, such as Syria and the oil-reliant Kazakhstan. Van Zwieteren left Shell in December 2020 to pursue new opportunities. The world has changed irrevocably over the past 12 months. Van Zwieteren sat down with Vicky Villena-Denton, CEO, and editor-in-chief of F&L Asia Ltd, to share his perspective on why the downstream segment will play a bigger role for oil and gas companies moving forward. You can listen to the entire F+L Webcast at fuelsandlubes.com/podcasts.