Energy Advisory Board Spotlight - Andy Krieger By Janet Miranda

Image of Andy Krieger

As senior vice president of wells for BP Global Wells Organization, Andy Krieger is accountable for all drilling, completion and intervention activities for the nine global upstream regions and global exploration.

Prior to assuming this role, he was the vice president of wells for the Gulf of Mexico region and vice president of technical functions, responsible for providing integrated support to the wells teams across the globe.

Krieger joined BP in 1996 as a production engineer in Anchorage, AK. He held various engineering and well site leader positions before to moving into senior leadership roles in Alaska, Trinidad and Houston.

Krieger also served as the vice president of operations for Global Wells, where he focused on building capability in subsea BOP reliability, well control and rig engineering.

He has a master’s degree in petroleum engineering from the University of Wyoming and serves on the board of directors for the Well Control Institute and the Oilfield Energy Center.

UH Energy: How did you get involved with the Energy Advisory Board, and what do you bring to your role?

Andy Krieger: The position on the board was previously held by a former member of BP America. I was offered the position soon after that person left the board, and I thought it was a great way to continue to engage with industry. It allows us to bring in input from various perspectives, including from a BP perspective.

As a senior leader, I have insights into the current challenging environment from a global perspective. In my current position I have accountability for all our drilling completion and intervention activity globally. And as a member of BP’s production and operations group, which combines all our hydrocarbon businesses, I get insight into key activities towards net zero carbon emissions.

UHE: The energy industry has been going through a tough time. What has been the drilling strategy during this time?

AK: From a drilling operations perspective, our focus continues to be on the safety and well-being of our people and in our operations. We, along with many others in the industry, have put in several precautions related specifically to the COVID-19 pandemic to maintain the safety and operational integrity of our well operations.

I think beyond that, it has evolved to maintaining business continuity, whether that be through maintaining supply chains or continuing to work very closely with our key contractors. The entire industry has been in in real-time response mode not only to the pandemic, but also the collapse in commodity prices. I believe we will continue to see several restructurings among drilling contractors, significant layoffs, and the furloughing of staff across service providers and even within some of the oil and gas companies.

Through all this, our strategy is to continue to partner closely with our contractors. We see the value in continuing to drive collaboration across that partnership while recognizing the financial strain and operational strain of the industry.

We've continued our focus and commitment to safe and compliant operations and are trying to maintain business continuity through deep collaboration with our trusted suppliers.

UHE: What technology is BP working on, and how has the COVID-19 crisis affected the goals of these projects?

AK: We’ve had a strategy that's continued to leverage a couple of things, one of which is to keep our remote collaboration centers fully staffed 24/7. These are operations and engineering centers that oversee, monitor, and engage with all our active operations. This aspect brings in more data analytics and predictive analytics to monitor centers and allow for real-time support and decision making to our operations. This technology has been crucial as we moved to working remotely across the entire organization.

Our continued vision is to build and leverage several digital platforms and integrated engineering solutions. This crisis reinforces the value of a fully integrated, digital engineering solution that allows for collaboration from across the world.

We continue to drive progress forward, and I don’t believe COVID-19 negatively affected these goals.

UHE: Before the pandemic, the industry was reckoning with the effects of climate change and the coming energy transition. How do you think the crisis has shifted this paradigm?

AK: From my perspective, it hasn’t shifted this trend backwards at all. What we’ve seen in the response to the current crisis, is an accelerated recognition of and need to address climate change and progress the energy transition.

Back in February, our new CEO, Bernard Looney, set out a new purpose and ambition, for BP to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050. We’ve recently announced another level of detail to how we will reach that goal.

We’re looking forward to progressing the energy transition across our industry through partnership with other companies and a steadfast commitment.

UHE: What lessons have you learned as a result of the oil price shock and the coronavirus pandemic?

AK: We've been astounded at how we’ve safely and effectively continued to operate around the world in a remote working environment. Many of us, myself included prior to this pandemic, spent many weeks a year on the road or in airplanes traveling around the world or spending most of the day with the team engaging in an office. We’ve all been surprised how effectively we can continue to safely plan and execute operations around the world.

However, there are limitations to how long and to what degree this is sustainable. There’s a middle ground between remote work and our pre-COVID work system that will need to be leveraged to make the most out of both working environments.

There will be an impact on how we collaborate in the long-term, especially with those that use face-to-face environment to gain incidental knowledge. However, everyone has been able to engage with all our stakeholders, whether that’s partners, governments, regulators or supplier networks.

On the grand scale of things, COVID-19 has had minimal impact on our drilling operations.

UHE: What advice would you give to students going into the energy field?

AK: This is an interesting question. I recently had a virtual Q&A session with all our summer interns, and some had the same question. There is certainly within our company and across the industry a role that oil and gas production will play across the energy transition. It’s clear that many companies, including BP, have very clearly laid out a plan to meet the energy needs of our world.

In the short-term, there will be a need continue to use O&G to supply the world’s energy needs. For that we need industry talent, more specifically talent with an interest in always continuing to learn. In our evolving energy sector, we need individuals who can identify and analyze how energy will evolve while recognizing the stability and longevity of the sector.

As we continue to evolve and leverage technology and data analytics, we need new talent that can bring a broader offering than just their core discipline. I suspect that as we continue to accelerate in that trend, students will gain that broader skill set that allows them to react and adapt quickly to change.