The energy sector went through its hardest year, but managed to resist, said Christina Verchere, CEO OMV Petrom, at the 8th annual edition of Spring Cocktail, a concept event organized by Energynomics.
”Last year has been turbulent, challenging and yet resilient year for the energy sector. We have to take into account that we have had a drop in commodity price of 30-40% and a drop in demand at the same time. For us, there have been three priorities. First, to make sure of the health and well-being of our workforce and customers. However, our fundamental role in society is to ensure that there is energy; we had to do everything to continue our operations, ensure that hospitals and businesses have energy, and so do everyone else. This is not only true for OMV Petrom but the entire energy industry. Then – the financial health of the firm – when there is such a big change in the environment, you need to make sure that the firm remains viable,” Verchere said. “It was resilient and I am proud of it!”
“I am proud that we have managed through volatility and I also think there are new opportunities,” she said. “The way we interact, the way we work, in which we communicate with each other has been modernized. We do miss human contact, it is true, but the decision-making process is much faster, we do more things electronically than we did before – so there are some upsides in this.
When we look at the global energy overall, we need to make sure that there is energy – today, tomorrow and in the future – and to do so we need to change.”
OMV Petrom is part of the solution for the energy transition, and natural gas is a fundamental part of Romania’s energy transition. Gas has a low carbon footprint and can help to restore the economy and ensure energy security.
“We want to move forward in the Black Sea gas project and we can do so if new legislation is implemented. At the same time, access to European Union funding will be crucial for Romania’s energy transition. We must together ensure that we access these funds. The economic engine from it is very important for the country. I think energy transition is a collective effort,” she said.
At the same time, energy efficiency represents a real opportunity for Romania. “We are working together with the effective NGO Efficient Romania to see where we can make changes in the existing buildings, a very challenging thing – to try to reduce their energy consumption. I think it would bring economic benefits in schools and hospitals in particular”.
The Greenhouse Gas footprint is also an internal concern for OMV Petrom. In 2020 the company managed to reduce its Greenhouse Gas Emissions by 25% compared to 2010.
“As our consumer evolves, we also need to keep pace with its growing demands. As regards science and technology, hydrogen, carbon capture and storage, etc., we must work together to drive this agenda forward in Romania as well.
But most of all I would like to talk about the importance of gas. It has the lowest carbon footprint of all fossil fuels. It can ensure the transition to lower carbon intensity. If we develop domestic gas resources, Romania could become the largest producer in the EU. It would bring economic prosperity to a country that needs it. It could bring more energy security. Everyone expects the energy to be there, but if you have your own energy you produce an increased economic value for the country as well. Taking into account the development of recent policies, we are talking about a mix of fuels, not only natural gas but also hydrogen or nuclear. We have the resources, let’s exploit them! Let’s have the legislation adopted, let’s move forward! The energy transition is a collective effort, there is a role for the public sector, there is definitely a role for the private sector and we are here to make our own contribution”, concluded Verchere.
This conference Spring Cocktail 2021 was organized by Energynomics, with the support of our partners: AON România, Automobile Bavaria, Electrica Furnizare, Hidroelectrica, ING Bank România, OMV Petrom, PeWeTe, Photomate, Siemens.
Almost 250 people joined the MyConnector platform to watch the LIVE event and the speeches.