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Baker Hughes doubles down on zero carbon pledge

CEO Lorenzo Simonelli sets out his low carbon vision based on artificial intelligence and other advanced technologies

Baker Hughes CEO Lorenzo Simonelli set out how a combination of artificial technology, 3D printing and lower carbon fuels is helping his firm towards meeting its carbon-reduction commitments, at its annual meeting in Florence, Italy, on Monday.

At last year's meeting, Simonelli committed Baker Hughes to halving its carbon footprint by 2030 and net-zero by 2050. "I am pleased to say that we are making good progress, he says. "Since 2012 we have reduced our emissions by 34pc and we are well on our way to making sure that we achieve our goals and our commitment to 2050."

Simonelli stressed that the industry is chasing a moving target, noting that over the decade 1bn people will emerge from poverty in China and India alone. "The world needs more energy-and more from energy," he says. "Over 850mn people still do not have access to electricity. That is going to change… And we have got to make sure that we play our part as an industry."

Simonelli says the industry faces a "dual challenge" of "how we continue to be competitive and make sure that we are providing reliable, efficient, safe and productive energy" while taking on "the challenge of the hydrocarbon climate change, our carbon footprint".

The solution, as he sees it, "begins and ends" with technology. "It is a critical part of the way in which we can face the dual challenge, new technologies that allow us to be more productive and more efficient and new technologies that enable us to transform the industry and continue to bring down our carbon footprint."

Digital transformation

Simonelli says the digital transformation as "a key topic" as over 50pc of industry CEOs view this as a key priority. He says this is "a trillion-dollar opportunity".

Baker Hughes is utilising a partnership with Tom Siebel's to drive its artificial intelligence effort. It launched the latest product of this partnership on Monday.

"This is how we will be able to truly thrive in the digital transformation. By taking all these options together and working together on implementing data productivity and artificial intelligence."

Another pillar of its strategy is the further expansion of additive manufacturing, which it already extends to thousands of components, and the introduction of new composites.

Transition fuels

Simonelli says that over the last decade the shift from coal to natural gas has reduced CO2 emissions by 500mn t and it will continue to be a key fuel: "Gas is not only a transition of fuel, it is a destination fuel."

He also pointed to progress in developing technologies including hydrogen applications, flare reduction, the eradication of methane emissions and carbon capture and sequestration.

A video of Lorenzo Simonelli's opening keynote speech can be viewed here.


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