Friday, August 31, 2012
Image of Ian Lundin provided by Lundin Petroleum. All rights reserved.
Interview with Ian Lundin, Chairman of the Board of Lundin Petroleum was conducted by Nicola Linza and Cristoffer Neljesjo in Stockholm during July 2012
Why did you choose to work in the area of petroleum and oil exploration?
My father was a strong influence. He was full of interesting and exciting stories about the oil and mining industry that he had worked in all his life, and those were stories that would have sounded quite fascinating to any young person. So there was definitely a lot of osmosis involved. That’s why both me and my brother Lukas went into the oil and mining business straight out of university and have remained in the industry ever since. Personally, I can’t think of a more interesting field of work.
Environmental studies consistently result in talks of alternative energy options, but few appear to be presenting real concrete solutions that are implemented. Two alternative sources of energy production both wind and solar have been explored by many research teams, and yet they appear to be consistently eliminated in most countries of the world a regular basis. Why is this? It is cost driven or industry? Where do you feel this issue stands now and into the future?
They way I look at this it is a simple cost/benefit calculation. Wind and solar power will continue to grow in importance but they both have many drawbacks (including environmental ones) and remain quite costly sources of energy compared to more traditional sources. The main problems that have yet to be resolved are related to the storage and transportation of electricity. A barrel of oil can generate many times of the equivalent amount of energy of a solar panel - and a barrel of oil can easily be transported to produce power when and where you want it, regardless of whether the sun is shining or the wind is blowing. However, I think we will witness a growth in the renewable part of the energy mix as the price of oil keeps increasing. That’s probably the best incentive there is for further research and development in this area.
Do you know of any realistic long-term projects in place to demonstrate an eco-friendly, advanced power generation facility, one say while based on fossil fuels, specifically coal, that provide the technical and economic feasibility of carbon capture and geologic sequestration emissions?
Yes I do; advanced nuclear reactors. They are safe and reliable and can potentially cover 100% of our electricity demand. Nuclear energy is also the most economic and least carbon emitting of all present forms of power generation - including wind and solar. I believe that nuclear energy will continue to grow in importance over the coming decades as the technology is further refined.
In line with the previous question to your knowledge is there a research facility that can unequivocally incorporate a clean coal-fuelled power system for co-producing electricity and hydrogen (H2?) One that incorporates cutting-edge research, as well as development of promising new energy-related technologies at a feasible commercial scale, to achieve say the United States Department of Energy’s goal of validating the technical and economic feasibility of a coal-fuelled power plant that produces low carbon emissions.
I think it will take a long time to develop technologies to sequester CO2 – and there is no guarantee that these technologies will ultimately be commercially successful. In the meantime I think there should be a focus on using gas for power generation – as it is an energy source that is abundant, clean and comes at a low-cost at the same time as the technology is very much proven. However, I strongly believe that clean burning coal technologies can reduce emissions significantly. There are huge resources of coal on globally and coal will remain a significant component in the energy equation for several generations to come. We need all the energy we can generate to support a growing population. Traditional sources like oil, gas, coal and nuclear will continue to dominate the energy basket for the foreseeable future, while renewable sources will make up a much smaller but increasingly important portion of this mix.
I like to cool my heels and take it easy.
Are you involved in charity?
As a family we support the Lundin Foundation that was set up when my father passed away and is now run by very competent people. The Lundin Foundation invests in high potential small- and medium-sized businesses across Africa, with a view to generating wealth and employment needed to alleviate poverty on a sustained basis. However, I believe that the best way to improve living conditions and promote environmental awareness is to raise the standard of living of everybody on this planet by encouraging private enterprise and job creating industries. That’s what we have been doing within the Lundin Group of Companies for the past 40+ years.
How do you work to maintain the growth of The Lundin Group for the next generation?
Over the years we have been successful in finding and developing new projects, both within the oil and mining side of the business. I am convinced that a large part of this has to do with the people we have been able to attract and retain within our companies. I think that is the most important factor in order to maintain the growth momentum, to be able to attract the best people in the industries in which we are active and provide them wide the tools they need to develop the world class assets we have in the current portfolio and that we keep looking for.
The above interview with Ian Lundin 2012 © Manner of Man Magazine. All rights reserved. Reproduction is strictly prohibited without written permission from the publisher.