First Published: Wind Energy Network, August 2023
Ivar Slengesol, VP of New Energy Solutions Eastern Hemisphere at TGS, spoke with Wind Energy Network about the recent changes at TGS that have seen the introduction of a New Energies Solutions division, his role within the new division and how TGS is aiming to shape the future of energy through its data and insights.
Who are you?
Ivar Slengesol, VP New Energy Solutions Eastern Hemisphere
Which company are you representing?
Describe what the company does:
For over 40 years, TGS has provided energy data and intelligence to companies and investors across energy markets. In addition to data acquisition, analytics platforms and market intelligence, we hold the world’s largest global library of subsurface data, such as seismic and well data.
In 2021, we launched a New Energy Solutions business unit offering data and software solutions for renewable energy, Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) and deep-sea mineral exploration. Since then, our offshore wind offerings have expanded rapidly through organic initiatives, acquisitions and partnerships. We’ve introduced a range of novel data-driven solutions to the industry and now count some 500 offshore wind companies as customers globally.
How many employees are in the company, including yourself?
TGS has approximately 1,000 employees. We have our corporate headquarters in Oslo, Norway and our operational headquarters in Houston, Texas, USA. The company’s other main offices are in the UK, Australia and Brazil, with additional employees located in cities around the globe.
How long have you owned or been at the company?
I joined TGS in July 2021.
What brought you into the industry/your position?
I first entered the wind industry and renewables in 2007 as business development manager at Shell. Since then, I’ve had a number of senior management and commercial roles at both start-ups and large companies, as project developer, lender and, as of two years ago, at TGS, a supplier of data-driven solutions and intelligence.
So I’ve seen the wind industry evolve from different parts of the value chain. I cannot think of a more fascinating and challenging field than the energy sector overall – with its interplay of technological, commercial and political drivers and wind energy and renewables are particularly exciting and dynamic.
What are the company’s goals?
Our goal at TGS is to continue to develop as the world’s leading energy data company. We’re continuing to grow our market shares and will continue to grow our business outside oil and gas.
For offshore wind, in particular, we will expand existing data-driven solutions, develop new solutions that reduce development costs and cycle times and enhance operational performance.
How would you describe the company’s culture?
TGS has for decades been the global commercial leader in its segments, delivering shareholder returns unmatched by our competitors. So, I would say that the culture is very client-driven and very focused on delivering commercial results. There’s also a long track record of thinking outside the box, being quick to adopt new technologies into commercial use and acquiring or partnering with companies that expand our offerings.
How do you motivate your colleagues?
We’re in expansion mode in a high-growth wind (and renewables) industry, so it’s doubly important to enable and encourage team members and teams to be creative and to move fast. We agree on commercial goals on division and team levels, but from there on, the execution needs to happen ‘on the ground’. As a leader, it’s very rewarding to see people take responsibility easily, quickly learn new technologies and business models, pursue opportunities and introduce new, smart ways of doing things that win the confidence of our clients. Finally, it’s important to celebrate our successes – new customer wins, new contracts, new smart ideas.
How have the methods for doing business changed since its inception?
The data and digital solutions space for renewables is still at a very early and immature stage, both commercially and technologically. In recent years, we’ve seen cloud compute and artificial intelligence/machine learning starting to be introduced, but as an industry we’ve barely started.
The client side is also evolving very fast – you have everyone from the global energy companies to independent, local project developers trying to figure out how to use data and digital solutions.
Until 2021, a limited number of oil and gas majors accounted for TGS’ main client base, primarily in subsurface data. Now we have a much more diversified offering in all energy value chains, with thousands of clients and potential clients in very dynamic domains. So of course, our delivery models, and mind sets, are adapting very fast.
Does the company offer training and advancement programmes?
Yes, that’s key. We have a number of course offerings, tailored to individual and business unit needs.
Who is your target market and how did you arrive at it?
Within offshore wind, the key clients are the project developers. For example, we’ve taken the multi-client model from oil and gas and adapted it to offshore wind. We started conducting wind, metocean and environmental data campaigns with floating LiDAR buoys last year and now have six such campaigns ongoing, with more to come.
One of the challenges for offshore wind is to reduce the cost and time it takes to develop projects. So that’s what we’re doing – we provide quality data earlier and at a lower cost, reducing uncertainties and enhancing project development decisions.
This is a natural step for TGS, which has served the global oil and gas majors with a similar shared data model for decades.
But we also serve the entire offshore wind value chain through our market intelligence arm 4C Offshore, which counts hundreds of suppliers, financiers, developers and other industry stakeholders as loyal clients.
In addition, we help improve operational performance with data management solutions provided
by TGS Prediktor, a company we acquired last year.
How do you currently market your business?
In addition to marketing our offshore wind offerings via traditional channels and platforms such as events, advertisements, websites and social media, we also want to provoke discussion through the insights driven by our data. We share these through technical pieces, webinars, industry clusters and fora.
How has this changed in the last ten years?
To be relevant, you have to give something back to the industry, participate in the conversation and bring relevant content and ideas. For example, we’re now sharing key takeaways from our highly-respected 4C Offshore market intelligence. This gives a valued insight which is useful and relevant to everyone in the offshore wind industry.
What are you most proud of about your business?
I’m most proud of how we’re able to...
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