Six Nations Rugby and the Energy Transition

Willie Tulloch, Consultant Integrity Engineer

I have seldom known a time when there has been so much uncertainty, drama and tension keeping everyone on the edge of their seats; and I’m not talking about the anticipation associated with Vladimir Putin’s next move on the world stage. This is the 6 Nations rugby season! And as we reach and pass the half-way point in the tournament, I am writing this article just a day before the Scotland - France Match! YOU! will be reading it with full knowledge of the result.

Every year I am full of hope, optimism, and expectation that this will be Scotland’s year. Indeed, if at the weekend [now passed] Scotland hammer France, Wales beat England and Italy beat Ireland … my dream could be one step closer to coming true.

However, as we make progress and see improvements, the opposition are also taking their games to new levels - the competition just gets harder! “Forwards win matches, backs decide by how much” is the old adage and this would seem to stack up.

Under Gregor Townsend, Scotland have scored 166 tries in 49 Tests, an average of 3.39 tries per Test. They have conceded 107, an average of 2.18 per game, but that has encouragingly dropped to 1.56 under the new defence coaching set up.

There are parallels we can draw on from rugby in the rapidly changing world of energy: -

  • A solid foundation is key to success
  • Use of data to measure, adapt and improve performance trends is useful
  • Having the right resources and embedding the right culture and attitude is fundamental

An essential truism underlying all these points is that any business or team that stands still is at risk of losing their competitive advantage very quickly and soon be overtaken!

Arguably, the biggest challenge, and opportunity in our industry, in our region, and in the world right now is energy transition. It’s going to affect everyone and there will unfortunately be losers as well as winners. By revisiting and reinforcing our foundations, measuring, and improving our performances and ensuring we are pursuing appropriate cultural behaviours we can increase the chances of at least finishing towards the top of the global results table.

An oil and gas survey undertaken by Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce in 2021 showed that 75% of businesses said they expect to pursue opportunities to diversify into renewable energy. So, I firmly believe we are well in the game.