Winners from seven countries and three continents took top honors in New York City tonight at the Platts Global Energy Awards, which recognized three industry leaders and 16 companies for exemplary individual and corporate achievement. The awards program, now in its 14thyear, is one of the energy industry’s premier recognition events and often referred to as the “Oscars” of the energy industry.
“Nearly every award entry this year demonstrated a drive for developing creative solutions to the world’s energy challenges,” said Larry Neal, president of Platts, a leading global energy, petrochemicals and metals information provider and host of the Awards. “Platts congratulates winners and finalists alike for their efforts to promote a secure and socially-responsible energy future.”
Antonio Brufau, executive chairman of Spain’s integrated oil and gas company Repsol, won 2012 “Chief Executive Officer” honors, besting a competitive list of finalists. While Brufau won accolades for shepherding Repsol’s growth in upstream exploration activities, expanding the company into wind power and overseeing a stock boon that has outpaced its European rivals, it was his leadership of the last seven months, judges said, that really set him apart. Within weeks of the Argentine government’s sudden expropriation of Repsol subsidiary Yacimientos Petroliferos Fiscales (YPF), Brufau set a course that kept Repsol from potential dismantlement, retained its standing with investors, and positioned it for high-growth ex-YPF.
Netherlands-based Royal Dutch Shell also stood apart from the night’s other winners, snagging not one, but two awards – the much sought-after “Energy Company of the Year” and “Commodity Excellence Award for Natural Gas.” Judges were impressed by the company’s commitment to continual innovation despite the scale of its current operations. Shell’s downstream activities in chemical gas-to-liquids technologies development caught the judges’ attention, as did its liquefied natural gas (LNG) technologies, which enhance energy efficiency and advance LNG as a transport fuel for trucks, ships and locomotives. The judges also cited Shell’s advancements in deepwater drilling, shale development and tight-gas extraction, all of which are helping to drive U.S. energy independence.
“Commodity Excellence Awards,” which recognize companies that have performed at the top of a sector in fundamental and innovative ways, also went to CNOOC Limited of China, and Peabody Energy and PJM Interconnection, both of the United States.
In bestowing the “Commodity Excellence Award for Oil” on CNOOC, China’s largest producer of offshore crude oil and natural gas, judges heralded the company for its nimble but robust international growth strategy amid a volatile price environment. Describing CNOOC as “innovative and leaders in their own right,” judges pointed to its two dozen-plus new oil discoveries since 2011, its achievement of a reserve replacement ratio in excess of 150%, and financial results comparable to those of Western peers.
Operational excellence, global growth and a commitment to workplace safety were cited as factors in the choice of Peabody Energy for the “Commodity Excellence for Coal” award. Judges honored Peabody for maximizing performance while successfully investing internationally. Its purchase of former Macarthur Coal Limited made the Missouri-based company the world’s largest seaborne supplier of pulverized coal injection resources as well as the third largest holder of coal reserves in Australia. Judges emphasized that, while integrating this acquisition, Peabody sustained record-breaking financial performance and enhanced workplace safety.
The “Commodity Excellence for Electric Power” award went to Pennsylvania-based PJM Interconnection, in recognition of its “relentless focus on reliability.” The independent power system operator was lauded for effective energy storage management and grid balancing, and for driving transformation of the broader market through its demand response initiatives, which promote efficiency by compensating commercial and industrial consumers for not using power during periods of high demand. PJM’s effective management of the industry’s shift in generation from coal to gas and its cyber-security efforts to protect the nation’s transmission system were other factors that made it a winner.
Pierre Gadonneix, a respected advisor to governments and private industry and advocate of green energy, was given the 2012 “Lifetime Achievement” award. He was honored for his 44-year career in the energy sector and his advocacy of the “Energy Trilemma,” which refers to the simultaneous global pursuit of three goals – security of supply, protection of the environment and the climate, and social equity and struggle against energy poverty. Gadonneix, who served at CEO level for 22 years in the gas and electric utility industries, is currently chairman of the World Energy Council, an independent policy body accredited by the United Nations to represent all aspects of the global energy system. Judges emphasized that Gadonniex’s leadership and advocacy has not only had a major impact on the companies he served, but also on the energy sector in France and internationally.
The Global Energy Awards dinner, held at the Cipriani Wall Street in lower Manhattan, was attended by hundreds of energy executives and emceed by CNBC Television’s Amanda Drury for a third consecutive year.
Preceding the awards ceremony was the sixth annual Platts Global Energy Outlook Forum “Fuel Fight: Environment Meets Economics,” where speakers and participants discussed challenges to a low-carbon green economy, how to remove impediments to scalable green energy and the long-term supply and demand outlook for energy. Shell Oil Company President Marvin Odum presented the keynote address.
The 2012 Platts Global Energy Awards sponsors included Capgemini, as principal for a 10th consecutive year, along with returning Elster for a 5th year.