O&G Awards 2014: Q&A - Ringo Leungby Christopher Kelly on Oct 16, 2014
Ringo Leung is vice president of commercial and supply chain for MEGlobal International FZE, and one of the Oil & Gas Middle East Awards 2014 judging panel
Why is it important to celebrate the industry’s leaders and achievements?
I consider it of great importance to recognise the industry’s leaders, since the high standards set by them will benefit the industry at large. Giving insight to the most recent achievements provides an opportunity for all the industry players to learn the best practices from the leaders and inspires younger upcoming talents. This in turn will enhance the overall development of the industry. I also believe it is important to show the general public a part of what the industry has contributed to and what it has done for the people and society as a whole.
How do you think the Middle East’s oil, gas and downstream sector will look in the future?
Looking at the global trends and development we believe that the Middle East’s oil and gas sector will continue to be the global leader moving forward. The future has to be shaped by us, by recognising that exporting this resource creates limited value. We must upgrade this resource and that is what creates employment for the region’s residents. If we only focus on exporting oil and gas, we will miss a golden opportunity. The chemical industry is a great starting point to upgrade these resources
What are the major challenges facing the downstream oil and gas sector at the moment?
There are two main challenges at the moment. One related to the business and the other to sustainability. The increase in supply across the globe notably the shale gas development in the Americas is going to exert downward pressure on pricing. Long-term demand should stabilise this challenge. The second challenge, which is more complex but equally important, is the image of the industry and its carbon footprint. If we don’t explain the value created by our industry, hype will overcome science and result in unintended consequences. Our industry is the foundation for GDP growth across the globe. We have to highlight the positive contributions of our industry to global commerce so that we attract the best talent to work in it and upgrade our industry.
What should the Middle East be doing to tackle its chronic gas shortages?
The question pre-supposes long-term shortage which is incorrect. We are blessed with gas supply, however we must accept the reality that attracting companies to the extraction investment requires incentives. It is not difficult to understand the price points at which we can attract the right investors to extract the gas. Energy is a basic need of our population in the Middle East. We can optimise our energy needs through solar and nuclear options but gas remains the lowest carbon footprint and lowest cost source of energy for us. We have the resources, let us focus on getting the gas to the most value creating end point.
About the judge
Ringo Leung studied for his Masters degree in Polymer Science and Technology at Belfast’s Queens University. Later he studied for his MBA at the University of New South Wales, Australia. He was born and raised in Hong Kong and joined Dow Chemicals in 1985.