Oil & Gas Conference 2018


Oil and Gas Conference 2018

Leadership within an industry in transition

On the 4th of July, 2018 the 16th Dutch Oil and Gas Conference was held in the Cruise Terminal in Rotterdam. The theme “leadership” clearly resonated well with the ca. 300 Energy & Resources professionals in the industry and our speakers were able to capture this theme and give meaning to it each in their own way. Together we can look back on an inspiring event in which we have learned that agile leadership can bring about success in even the most challenging of circumstances.

Aftermovie Deloitte Oil and Gas Conference 2018

Theme and speakers

The theme of this 16th edition of the Oil and Gas Conference was Leadership within an industry in transition. Several of our speakers touched on the point that we live in a ‘VUCA world’ (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous). This situation calls for a new leadership style which makes it the logical theme for Deloitte's Oil and Gas Conference: Leadership within an industry in transition. The main lesson learned at this year’s conference might be that a strong but agile leadership style – curious, creative, learning, cooperative and accessible – is the key to a successful energy transition by maintaining the current core business with traditional capabilities while at the same time building new organisations, requiring a different expertise in new technologies.

Speakers of the day were: 

  • Ruth Lovering (Shell)
  • Marcel Luijten (Ampelmann)
  • Pieter van Oord (Van Oord)
  • Diederik Samsom (EBN and Negotiator Dutch Climate Agreement) 
  • Ronald Meijers (Deloitte) 
Oil and Gas Conference 2018
Pieter van Oord, Eric Vennix, Diederik Samsom, Marcel Luijten, Ruth Lovering, Ronald Meijers
Oil and Gas Conference
Impression Oil and Gas Conference 2018

Will the 21st century be the last one for fossil fuels?

Eric Vennix, Deloitte’s Energy and Resources industry leader, opened the day by posing the question: Will the 21st century be the last one for fossil fuels? Dutch businesses are seizing the opportunities the energy transition brings, but there are also challenges we have yet to find a solution for, such as the vast amounts of power that electrification requires. Although Oil and Gas companies are still largely dependent on oil and gas, they are increasingly looking to diversify their business. This raises the need for leadership that can organise for success in both traditional and new business.

Ronald Meijers, Partner Transformation, Leadership and Governance at Deloitte, proceeded to set the scene by telling us about various leadership styles and the importance of flexibility and adaptability in leaders involved in transformations. The key theme in his speech was conflicting demands and the key word ‘SPICE’: Society, Partners, Investors, Clients and Employees - they all have their interests, they all have their needs. A good leader knows how to treat all stakeholders equally.

Learning leaders leading learning organisations

Ruth Lovering, EVP HR Projects & Technology at Shell, spoke about the importance for Shell of respecting their stable backbone whilst remaining flexible and responsive to the external pressures they face. This requires “learning leaders leading learning organisations” – leaders that are open to ideas and insights irrespective of their origins, thereby breeding trust. Through trust Shell can connect their people to Shell’s purpose “more and cleaner energy solutions” and help them find meaning in their work.

Marcel Luijten, CFO at Ampelmann, explained that Ampelmann’s initial success was largely due to the fact that they co-developed their product with the industry, providing a real solution to a real problem. But fast growth had caused Ampelmann to professionalise away from their customers. When the Oil & Gas downturn hit Ampelmann, it served as an eye-opener for Ampelmann’s leadership: there is huge potential for Ampelmann to create value by developing solutions for changes the energy transition brings. And it is not just about products, but about business models too. And that is where the leadership challenge lies: combining innovation and creativity with flawless execution.

Ingenuity is key in transformation

As Pieter van Oord, CEO of Van Oord, explained – in a family business you work for the next generations, so continuity is a prime goal for Van Oord. This means that leadership requires a long-term view. They believed in offshore wind despite losing money on it for 5 years. But then spectacular steps were made when project size and turbine size went up and now that a new era for offshore wind is here, Van Oord is at the forefront. But leadership is not just the responsibility of the corporates – the energy transition also requires leadership from government – plans and initiatives need to be coordinated and the demand side needs to be addressed.

Our final speaker of the day, Diederik Samsom, Member Supervisory Board EBN and Negotiator for the Dutch Climate Agreement, qualified the energy transition as nothing less than a revolution. It is all going much faster than anticipated: a new era, a new dynamic with huge consequences. Now all factors – political, international, economical and technical – align in one direction: a sustainable future for mother earth. The industry cannot shift overnight, but in order to be successful we will need to change. If we use the momentum renewable technology currently has, if companies, politicians and NGOs work together and if we truly attempt to shift the course to renewable energy, then we will be successful.

More information?

If you have any questions or would like to discuss opportunities, please do not hesitate to contact us.


Eric Vennix

Eric Vennix

Industry Leader North West Europe

Eric focusses on the Energy & Resources industry and has extensive experience in the Shipping and Maritime cluster. He helps clients with business process transformation, driving value through organiz... Meer