Samik Mukherjee

The Co-Existence of Fossil Fuels and Renewables

Meeting the world’s ever-expanding energy needs is one of the biggest concerns of our time. Human populations are growing exponentially all over the planet, putting increased pressure on existing power grids and creating a necessity for new and innovative energy solutions to keep our society going.

At this time, most of the energy we consume comes from nonrenewable resources like coal and natural gas. These resources are finite, meaning they can’t be replenished once they’re gone, and harvesting them and turning them into energy puts untenable pressure on our climate and the delicate ecosystems we rely on and are part of.

For the health of the Earth as well as for the sake of the billions of people who depend on electricity to keep them safe, sheltered, and connected to the outside world, developing and utilizing renewable power sources like wind, water, solar, and geothermal energy must be a priority. However, Samik Mukherjee says that fossil fuels and renewables can and must co-exist if we are to successfully maintain a society that doesn’t leave anyone behind.

The Myth of “All-or-Nothing”

As the planet’s overall temperature continues to rise, more and more advocates are demanding a virtually immediate switch to renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. The loudest voices often declare that nothing short of a total 180 from fossil fuels to renewables will save our climate from heating up beyond a reclaimable point.

While climate researchers largely agree that increasing our investment in renewable energy sources is a vital aspect of our response to climate change, the world cannot afford to be so black and white in its views on fossil fuels. Nonrenewable energy sources provide 80% of the planet’s power, and many countries simply do not have the infrastructure or the resources to pivot away from natural gas or coal consumption any time soon. If we were to completely cut out nonrenewable resources tomorrow, more than three-quarters of the world would slip into darkness.

Powering Forward Together

The truth is that an all-or-nothing approach to renewable energy leaves out billions of people in countries around the world who wouldn’t have access to electricity, clean water, or viable shelter without fossil fuels. Not only can fossil fuels and renewables co-exist: it’s the only way forward for our planet, at least until renewable power plants are as ubiquitous as nonrenewable ones.

This co-existence is already working in many parts of the world. A 2021 study examining the efficacy of India’s ambitious plan to build hundreds of solar plants and wind farms by 2030 found that the plan will succeed in meeting the country’s carbon mitigation goals without sacrificing its energy needs as long as a few fossil fuel plants are built as well. Projections suggest that no new fossil fuel plants will need to be built after 2030, though the ones that currently exist will need to remain in operation for some time.

In Conclusion

Making forward progress, even at a slower pace than may be preferable, is infinitely better than grinding to a halt over perceived irreconcilable differences. 

The reality is that fossil fuels and renewables will both power the planet for the foreseeable future. Therefore, investing in new ways to improve their safety and efficiency is vital. The well-being of the entire world depends on it.

How the Inflation Reduction Act Will Impact the Natural Gas and Oil Industries

Despite its name, the Inflation Reduction Act has been hailed as one of the most significant pieces of legislation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and bolster renewable energies in modern history. With such a major investment in renewables, many people are now wondering how the law will affect the natural gas and oil industries. Nevertheless, the bill is quite complex and is slated to expand drilling throughout the United States.

As with most legislation, the Inflation Reduction Act includes a long list of clauses designed to help it garner votes from both Republican and Democratic Congressmen. To better understand the full extent of these clauses, Samik Mukherjee takes a moment to discuss more about the bill and explains how it will impact the fossil fuel industry.

Samik Mukherjee

The Inflation Reduction Act Will Undoubtedly Increase Investment in Wind Energy

First and foremost, the Inflation Reduction Act will significantly impact the renewable energy sector by greatly reducing taxes and increasing royalties for solar and wind energy producers. Additionally, the bill effectively overturns the Trump Administration’s 10-year bar on new wind farms, opening the nation to a new era of wind energy development.

These provisions will have a direct impact on the natural gas and oil industries because they will make renewable energy more competitive with fossil fuels. In particular, the bill’s tax credits and subsidies will make it easier for developers to build new wind farms, which will lead to a decrease in demand for natural gas and oil.

Provision to Expand Drilling

While the Inflation Reduction Act may negatively impact demand for natural gas and oil, it is important to note that the bill also contains a provision to expand drilling. This provision comes just in time after a federal judge barred the oil industry from purchasing a section of the Gulf Coast for drilling for $192 million.

Thanks to the bill’s provisions, companies can now expand their drilling operations in the Gulf of Mexico, which could offset some of the losses experienced by the fossil fuel industry. Additionally, the Inflation Reduction Act will increase the royalty rate for both onshore and offshore drilling from 12.5% to 16.6%, helping to increase profits for the industry.

Samik Mukherjee

Despite a Rise in Drilling, the Act is Slated to Reduce Carbon Emissions by Up to 40%

When the Inflation Reduction Act first came up for debate, many analysts assumed that it would fall dead on arrival yet, thanks to a wide array of clauses that benefit most stakeholders’ interests, the bill surprisingly passed with bipartisan support.

For environmentally conscious Democrats, the bill will increase investments in renewables, cementing their position within the American energy sector. For business-minded Republicans, the bill will spur economic growth by expanding drilling and reducing regulations. However, the most significant result is a bill that is designed to reduce carbon emissions by up to 40%.

The Takeaway

In the end, the Inflation Reduction Act is a complex piece of legislation that will have a major impact on the natural gas and oil industries. While the bill will undoubtedly increase investment in renewable energy, it also contains a provision that could open up new drilling opportunities.

LNG – Everything You’ve Ever Wanted to Know

Natural gas is supercooled combination of hydrocarbon gases composed mostly of methane. It may also include trace amounts of nitrogen, CO2, hydrogen sulfide, and other higher alkanes It’s commonly used as a fuel for industrial processes, as well as in many home kitchens. Yet, for something so common, most people know very little about liquified natural gas.

Samik Mukherjee takes a minute to discuss what liquified natural gas is, where it comes from, how it’s used in both industrial and residential environments, and how it can be safely transported and used throughout the nation. Your home likely already uses LNG in some capacity, so take a moment to learn more about it now.

What is Liquified Natural Gas?

As the name suggests, LNG is natural gas that has been cooled to a liquid state. This process is done for a few reasons, the most common being storage and transportation. When natural gas is liquified, it can be transported via tanker trucks, rail cars, or ships. It can also be stored in large tanks, making it much easier to store large quantities of natural gas.

How is LNG Used?

Liquified natural gas has a variety of uses, both industrial and residential. In industry, it’s used as a fuel for a number of different processes, including power generation, heating, and cooling. It’s also used as a feedstock for the production of a number of chemicals, including ammonia, methanol, and hydrogen. In the home, LNG is most commonly used for cooking and heating. Many people use natural gas stoves in their kitchens, and natural gas is also used to heat water in many homes. By the time gas reaches your home, though, it’s usually warmed back into a gas.

The Safety of Liquified Natural Gas

There are some safety concerns associated with using liquified natural gas, but these can be mitigated with proper safety precautions. One concern is that natural gas is flammable, and if there is a leak, the gas can accumulate and lead to an explosion. Another concern is that natural gas is odorless, so if there is a leak, it can be difficult to detect.

Generally, gas companies add an odorant to make leaks more easily detectable. If you use liquid natural gas in your home, it’s important to be aware of these safety concerns and take the necessary precautions. Make sure to have a working carbon monoxide detector in your home, and if you smell gas, open windows, and doors to ventilate the area and then call your gas company.

Final Thoughts

LNG is a popular fuel that has a variety of uses, both industrial and residential. Although it’s less talked about than oil or gasoline, LNG plays an important part in our daily lives. And it’s important to be aware of the safety measures required with using liquid natural gas and before working on any gas fittings or connections.

The Importance of Green Energy- What Steps Are Companies Taking to Ensure Environmentally Conscious Practices?

Samik Mukherjee construction

Throughout his career in Upstream, Samik Mukherjee has acknowledged the importance of initiatives focused on lowering environmental impact within the industry. While some hold the misconception that creating and maintaining carbon-neutral facilities presents challenges that complicate its benefits to cost ratio, Samik and other experts in the field argue that such initiatives give industry leaders the ability to collaborate to optimize processes- using their resources in ways that are beneficial for both their businesses and the health of the environment.

Here, Samik Mukherjee explains the urgency of the clean energy transition as well as the steps that companies are taking to optimize their processes with the environment in mind. 

What is the Importance of Clean Energy Transition?

Recently, there has been a large emphasis on clean energy transition and the benefits that investments into the process can have. Samik Mukherjee notes that clean energy transition involves adapting energy production that releases little to no greenhouse gases such as hydro, wind, solar, and nuclear power. Much of the urgency for companies to shift practices to prioritize clean energy comes from the Paris Agreement. Almost two-thirds of the world’s electricity is still created using fossil fuels, and companies will need to shift 80% of electricity production to low carbon sources to reach the Paris Agreement’s climate goals by 2050.

While commitment to clean energy has the benefit of helping maintain our environment, there are other cited reasons for companies adhering to the change as well. Clean energy sources can help lead the charge to improve public health in communities around the world, produce a variety of jobs and economic benefits for new and existing energy professionals, and help provide an inexhaustible source of energy.

What Steps are Companies Taking to Commit to Carbon-Neutral Upstream Facilities?

Samik notes that companies are taking several steps to ensure that carbon-neutral upstream facilities become the norm. Most collaborations involve research and design for carbon-neutral facilities in the natural gas and upstream oil markets. This is meant to demonstrate the scope of current upstream technology and discover which developments will be needed to make net-zero facilities a possibility soon. A proof of concept for carbon-neutral facilities produced by ongoing collaborations between industry leaders can be adapted to the scope of any project and region, which is crucial if these processes are to be widespread.

This year, there have been announcements that industry leaders are looking to improve upon the existing design of facilities for a more environmentally conscious process. In one example, facilities are leveraging proprietary designs that use electrolyzers for green hydrogen and oxygen production. Because storage and production capabilities are a priority of the project as well, the design also provides the flexibility to expand upon both processes.

Committing to the Future of Energy

Samik Mukherjee recognizes that- while it may take decades to eliminate our dependence on fossil fuel energy sources- it is a very worthwhile endeavor for companies to make investments into transitioning to clean energy. This will involve collaborations with other leaders in the space, pulling from research and proof of concepts from current projects, and committing to evolving methods and processes to prioritize clean energy.

The Growing Number of Investor Lawsuits Regarding Climate Risks

Despite the global movement towards green energy, oil industry leaders continue to invest heavily in unpopular projects and lie to shareholders regarding the risks of climate change to their businesses. This has led to a drastic increase in the number of shareholder lawsuits in recent years, as investors struggle to protect their investments. McDermott International’s Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Samik Mukherjee, who tracks lawsuit news in the industry, has watched this development with interest and believes this marks the beginning of a great change for the oil and gas industry.

A study conducted by environmental think tank Carbon Tracker shows that oil and gas companies invested more than 50 billion dollars in 2017 in projects that were known to not align with the Paris Agreement. The 2015 international treaty’s aim is to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions and limit the global temperature increase to 2 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels by asking all major emitting countries to cut their climate pollution and pursue greener energy solutions. The Carbon Tracker study showed that these oil and gas company investments are ill-advised given the global push towards clean energy and are likely to result in weak returns and massive investor losses.

As a result, shareholder lawsuits have begun in earnest. Today, the most prominent suits involve multiple shareholders accusing American oil giants of lying to the public regarding the risks of climate change to business growth and grossly misleading its investors. These lawsuits mark a new wave of investigating oil companies’ project inconsistencies with the current low-carbon economic push. These lawsuits are expected to grow, as many industry experts have estimated that international oil companies have invested at least 30 percent of their capital investment in projects that were incompatible with the Paris Agreement.

As petroleum supply greatly outstrips demand, high-cost projects that rely on increasing prices run the risk of becoming reserves with little value. For this reason, investors have joined forces with the Climate Action 100+ coalition and are demanding companies disclose their climate risks and ensure shareholders that their investments will align with the Paris Agreement.

What Does the Recent Appeals Court Ruling Mean for Oil and Gas Lawsuits?

Samik Mukherjee lawsuit

Recently, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the lawsuits alleging large oil companies are responsible for coastal wetlands losses in Louisiana will be tried in federal courts. Samik Mukherjee believes that the decision has many different implications for the potential outcomes for these highly publicized oil and gas lawsuits and, here, he provides a bit of detail on surrounding information and how the decision may impact the proceedings.

Details on the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals’ Decision

Last year, a three-judge panel on the 5th Circuit upheld the rulings of federal district judges to keep the lawsuits in Louisiana state court. After being pressed for reconsideration by the companies in question- and after hearing arguments from leaders within the industry- district courts made the decision to look to see if any federal issues were involved with the case.

There are over 40 lawsuits that have been presented by six parishes and New Orleans, with the lingering question held by courts being whether the defendants can be held responsible for decades worth of coastal erosion and wetlands loss. Some of the lawsuits against the 200 fossil fuel companies contain allegations that date back to as far as World War II, emphasizing the massive scope of these legal proceedings. In a recent decision, the court decided that cases should be examined in federal district court, as it is believed that they involve federally overseen operations.

Impact of the Decision

Samik Mukherjee notes that the oil and gas industry leaders involved in the lawsuits largely agree with the decision to bring the cases to federal court. Louisiana Oil & Gas Association President Mike Moncla, for example, cited that the oil and gas industry in Louisiana has experienced a decline since the beginning of the litigation process back in 2013. It is his belief that the lawsuits are frivolous and have cost employees jobs, bankrupted marine service companies, and have had a profoundly negative impact on the state’s tax revenue.

It is difficult to argue against the idea that the lawsuits have cost the state money, as a recent study found that they have potentially cost the state between $44 million to $113 million each year since their filing, impacting as many as 2,000 jobs. The plaintiffs see these lawsuits as necessary still, as it is not yet known the scope of the impact that certain negative practices held by companies have had – and some consider that they may value even more than the lawsuits.

Since news of the decision, the Samik Mukherjee lawsuit review has found that quite a few of the plaintiffs for the Louisiana case are not pleased with recent developments. One major reason for this sentiment is because of the dynamic change that bringing these courses to federal court may cause. Trial lawyers typically prefer state courts because their judges are elected, whereas federal judges are appointed. Attorneys fear that federally appointed judges may have ties that will prevent impartial rulings that could turn the tide in the favor of the plaintiffs rather than companies such as BP America Production Company, Exxon Mobil Corporation, Shell, Chevron, and ConocoPhillips.

The Future of Louisiana’s Oil and Gas Lawsuits

While it is too soon to tell what the future will hold for the cases in question, experts such as Samik Mukherjee are paying very close attention to recent developments. It is the hope of many experts that the decision to change courts will not impact the way that relevant details are handled or deemphasize the importance of transparency and efficient solutions regarding oil and gas industry processes.

How Integrated Digital Delivery Can Transform the EPC-Operator Relationship

Samik Mukherjee, Group Senior Vice President of projects at EPC giant McDermott believes strongly in the power of integrated digital delivery. Samik Mukherjee has been interviewed on the subject in several major publications where he discusses the way digital delivery can transform the EPC-Operator relationship. This blog will shed some light on his thoughts and explain why he is so passionate about digitalization.

The oil and gas industry is no different that other industries in that there are numerous benefits to shifting to digital practices. Digital delivery can allow the oil and gas industry to not only execute operations more effectively but more safely as well. Operators in the oil and gas industry have a very difficult job with very complex responsibilities. Recent risks as a result of the pandemic have only added on to traditional challenges like managing a global supply chain or managing global political risks. One of the most valuable assets to an operator is certainty. Digitalization and innovations in technology can help bring certainty, which makes them invaluable to Samik Mukherjee.

A lot of early work for operators is done in research to eventually make projections. Projections include the overall cost of a project as well as the schedule of the project. The ability to meet projected deadlines can save thousands upon thousands of dollars. Digital delivery has helped sharpen schedule forecasting. It is also allowed for all parties involved in an oil and gas industry project to enjoy full transparency. Being able to show data in real-time allows for a more collaborative approach. All necessary parties can get the full picture, so they can easily give their education opinions.

As technology has improved, software creators have been able to take the feedback of their customers and upgrade their platforms to meet the demands of the client base.

Finally, operators need to make sure that they are conducting their projects within the regulations of governments and environmental authorities. Efficiency is the name of the game. Digitalization is allowing transparency that tracks the eco friendliness of a project in real-time, which is truly invaluable in today’s climate.

Samik Mukherjee Discusses the Impact of Digitalization on the Downstream Industry

Samik Mukherjee examines a plant

The energy industry can, much like many other sectors, often be resistant to change. Samik Mukherjee acknowledges that there are many factors that contribute to this trend, such as the length and complexities of projects, the amount of investment tied in development, and the multiple pieces that work in tandem for production. Still, Samik recognizes that digitalization has managed to catch on rather quickly, in part because of the many benefits that they can bring to his industry. Here, Samik Mukherjee discusses some of the largest benefits digitalization spurs for downstream companies as well as how these changes can be further embraced for continued developments in the space.

Brings Certainty to Complex Industry Processes

Samik Mukherjee speaks to the inherent complexities of the oil and gas industry including the complicated nature of projects, managing global supply chains, managing global political risks, and challenges delivering on immense projects. These complexities ensure that guesses are not an efficient strategy for facilitating processes within the energy sector- there are simply too many people, processes, and investment hanging in the balance. Without ways to further bring certainty, projects may have more challenges managing costs and schedules as well as exhibit issues meeting the expectations of customers. For this reason, Samik Mukherjee notes that the ability to forecast the cost and schedule for projects is paramount and an immense benefit of digitalization for facility management. Having the data that can help decision makers ascertain the numbers for major projects at the right time can improve project directors’ ability to make correct decisions regarding the work.

Creates Value for Customers
Samik Mukherjee notes that digital delivery for McDermott has improved the company’s ability to execute projects by creating value for customers. For example, Samik speaks to how the certainty that digitization provides lends more certainty for cost and schedule forecasting, builds relationships for long term value, and contributes to transparency within the industry- all of which work in tandem to bring value to clients. Transparency is an important factor in any business, as it allows leaders to share data with each other simultaneously to ensure that projects are heading in the right direction. The speed in which digitization provides transparency for customers and collaborators is key because efficiency, quality improvements and adjustments, as well as reduced need for reworks can increase production margins while simultaneously ensuring that the information can be shared. Now, customers can access visualizations of projects quickly and easily, and this efficiency does wonders for cultivating healthy and collaborative working relationships moving forward.

Looking Forward

Industry leaders acknowledge that digitalization is here to stay for the oil and gas industry in part because of the benefits that it has for processes, but a large part of its growth is about the people. Not only does digitalization empower leaders to remain on the same page and improve processes, but it also plays a crucial role in helping them remain adaptive to further push evolution in the space. The COVID-19 pandemic has shown that there are operational and logistical challenges inherent to almost any industry, however, having the right tools and people to utilize them is vital for making the right improvements.

Group Senior Vice President of Projects at McDermott International Samik Mukherjee Discusses Subsea Pipelines

Today, there are more than 3 million miles of subsea pipeline located within the Earth’s oceans. These pipelines deliver trillions of cubic feet of natural gases and petroleum products each year. In recent years, the offshore oil and gas industry has experienced exponential growth due to the many commercial benefits of subsea pipelines. McDermott International, a fully-integrated provider of construction and engineering solutions for the oil and gas industry, has long been the provider of choice for pipelay and field development services. McDermott International’s Group Senior Vice President of Projects Samik Mukherjee hopes to inform the public on the importance of subsea pipelines in the oil and gas industry. Below, Samik Mukherjee will answer some of the public’s most asked questions regarding subsea pipelines. 

What are Subsea Pipelines 

Subsea pipelines, otherwise known as submarine pipelines, are any pipe system that has been installed below a waterline. Subsea pipelines most often refer to a pipeline used by industries to transport natural gas or crude oil underwater. Subsea pipelines can consist of various designs depending on the material being transported. This variety of pipelines are known for their complex installation processes due to highly turbulent sea conditions, which can cause bending stresses. While many subsea pipelines are installed a few meters below the water’s surface, many companies choose to place their pipelines on the seabed, which can require advanced engineering techniques to install.

How Subsea Pipelines are Installed

Subsea pipelines are placed on the seabed by large floating platforms known as pipelaying vessels. While these floating platforms can accommodate hundred of workers, multiple pipelaying vessels are required during the pipe laying process. After monitoring the seabed and located any obstructions, special barges supply pipes to the pipelayingvessels, which are then unloaded and welded. Before anticorrosion coating is applied to the pipe joints, they must be ultrasonically tested for any defects or breaks. Pipes that have passed the review stage are then placed on a conveyer and loaded onto a special boom called a stinger. The stinger slowly lowers the pipe onto the seabed at an angle, where it is attached to the pipeline. 

How Subsea Pipelines are Repaired

Subsea pipelines are notorious for their complex and sometimes costly repair procedures. The repair procedure of subsea pipelines greatly depends on the pipeline’s depth, placement, and corrosion level. If a damaged pipeline has been installed at water depths above 300 m, professional divers will be able to repair the damaged pipeline using conventional repair methods. Diverless repairs occur on subsea pipelines located below 300 meters, or 985 ft, and are often carried out by mechanical connectors.

Samik Mukherjee: Advisory Board Position at the University of Houston Bauer College of Business and the Latest McDermott International Press Release

Samik Mukherjee

In the two years since Samik Mukherjee began his Executive Committee Member position at McDermott International, the company has made great strides and announced several projects and studies expected to advance the energy and gas industry towards a greener and more efficient future. Within the past month, McDermott International made the announcement that their own CB&I Storage Solutions had been awarded a study to research liquid hydrogen storage expansion capabilities. Recently, Mr. Mukherjee has also accepted an Advisory Board Position at the University of Houston Bauer College of Business. 

McDermott International Awarded Liquid Hydrogen Storage Study 

Within the past month, McDermott International announced it’s own CB&I Storage Solutions business had been awarded a study to research different liquid hydrogen storage expansion capabilities in an effort to increase current capacity limits. McDermott International and CB&I Storage Solutions are well known throughout the hydrogen production field for their specialization in field-erected spherical cryogenic hydrogen storage and perhaps most well known for their partnership with NASA in building the world’s largest liquid hydrogen sphere. As Group Senior Vice President of projects for McDermott International, Samik Mukherjee is proud of this recent accomplishment and, as stated in the recent press release, stresses Hydrogen’s importance in creating a sustainably powered future. Within the press release, Samik Mukherjee is quoted as saying, “hydrogen, like wind and solar, plays a major role in decarbonization, and this study aims to unlock even greater potential in this field.” To read more about the McDermott International and CB&I Storage Solutions’ press release, click here

Advisory Panel Position at University of Houston Bauer College of Business 

In January 2021, Samik Mukherjee announced he would be starting an Advisory Panel position at the University of Houston Bauer College of Business. Samik Mukherjee’s background in international business, managing leadership teams through change and leadership development make him uniquely adapted for the University of Houston Bauer College of Business’s leadership programs, in which he will also offer council. Some of the University of Houston Bauer College of Business leadership programs include Emerging Leaders Academic Success Program, EMBA Leadership Track Program, as well as an MS in Management and Leadership and an MBA Leadership Development Certificate. To read more about Samik Mukherjee’s new Advisory Panel position at the University of Houston Bauer College of Business, click here.