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A weekly podcast on the impacts of digital technologies on the oil and gas sector

Mar 22, 2023

"There's a gap currently between the way the small startup companies would think about how to get investment dollars and grant dollars to keep their company alive, and what the big operators need to have a deployable project."

In this episode, I’m in conversation with Bradley Wamboldt, who is the principal associate of Hawk and Squirrel Innovation. Bradley specialises in helping industrial companies innovate with hard technologies such as new industrial equipment and processes. Innovations in hard technology have strong parallels with soft technology (digital), and hard technology these days is usually accompanied by some kind of digital overlay.

"If you look to move to a more distributed energy generation and consumption model, there's going to be a tremendous amount of infrastructure required. We're talking about 20 terawatts of energy used by the planet. Currently, about 85% of that is fossil fuel. So the scale of this energy transition, we're really just starting to scratch the surface."

Bradley Wamboldt is the Principal Associate at Hawk & Squirrel Innovation, a boutique consultancy and technology development practice in Calgary. Bradley has over 30 years of experience in oil and gas operations, project development, commissioning, operations, and technology development with both Shell Canada and Suncor Energy.

"Every day you go to work you think about three things, and none of them have to do with change. Number one is safety. Safety is always making sure everybody comes home. Number two is how many barrels did you produce today. Number three is keeping the costs in line." 

He is currently focusing his efforts on assisting large and small companies in advancing new energy transition and decarbonization technologies from research through to commercial deployment. Bradley has a Bachelor of Chemical Engineering from McGill University and an MBA (with distinction) from Ivey School of Business at Western University.

Here are some of the key questions addressed in the episode: 

  1. Is there more than one way to roll out industrial infrastructure? What are they?

  2. Who is good at introducing change to brownfield infrastructure?

  3. What are the key incentives that drive the energy industry?

  4. Where should innovation be placed in an organization? Operations?

  5. What tactics work well in driving business improvements and disruptive change? 

  6. What changes do we need to see implemented to accelerate the pace of change?