Come To A Book Launch Party

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Come To A Book Launch Party

If you’ve been following my work, you know that my latest book was released on March 18th of this year. Here’s the backstory to the book and an invitation to celebrate its release.


The Origin Story

My latest work, co-authored with my research assistant and son Ryan, is called ‘Carbon, Capital, and the Cloud: A Playbook for Digital Oil and Gas’. It all started with a comment from my good friend Nate Clark. A few months after my first book, ‘Bits, Bytes, and Barrels’ was released back in 2019, Nate identified the immediate need for a follow up book, which would chronicle the stories of companies that were successfully adopting digital innovations.

Of course, it’s never quite as simple as that.

In the short span of three years, we have experienced:

A global pandemic

Thanks to public health agencies, the world has narrowly avoided global pandemics (remember SARS), but not this time. Very few people alive today had any experience surviving the last global pandemic (Spanish flu from 1918). Now we all do, save those who sadly succumbed.

A collapse in oil prices

For a brief period in 2020, oil prices were negative, thanks to a misreading by OPEC and Russia about the severity of the pandemic and the impact on global oil demand.

A global recession

The pandemic triggered the first global synchronized recession across nations and industrial sectors. Recessions are common enough, but they are normally limited to specific economies and sectors.

War-time financial policies

Governments that were unable to slam their borders shut to keep the virus at bay deployed record amounts of fiscal stimulus to keep their economies on life support.

A very sharp recovery

The economic bounce-back from the recession has been startling to say the least. Not all economies and not synchronized, but inflation is now on rise as shortages trigger price escalations.

A European war

In plain sight, Russia secretly amasses an invasion army on Ukraine’s border under the pretext that it was just training, and commences bombing its neighbouring state.

Energy shortages

Following several years of underinvestment in fossil fuel infrastructure and not rapid enough investment in replacement energy, we’re now seeing energy shortages, helped along by sanctions on Russia’s energy products.

Epic commodity prices

From negative to over $125/bbl in just 18 months, oil has been on a tear. LNG is not far behind, up 107% in Tokyo in just the past year.

It would be easy to be distracted by these very hugely disruptive factors, but they are all, to a degree, temporal. The pandemic will pass. The war will come to an end. Economies will recover. It’s the more longer stride changes to which we think companies should pay close attention.

And so, during the pandemic, we set out to research, write and then publish this new work, to articulate the longer stride changes that will shape our future. Weirdly, there were no in-person meetings at all to bring the book to life. None. Not between the authors, the interviewees, the editors or the production team. Zero. No paper was printed. No whiteboard ink was spilled.

A Story in a Nutshell

The title, ‘Carbon, Capital, and the Cloud’ is carefully chosen. At first blush, it’s a simple rhyming alliteration from the first book, a play on getting from B to C. But actually it’s much deeper than that.

Carbon: The world is not going to reverse course on its agenda to diversify the energy economy. The evidence about pressures on the planet stemming from the accumulation of fossil fuel carbon in the atmosphere is no longer questioned.

Capital: The incumbent energy industry needs two ingredients to survive (the third, access to resources, is moot, in light of the carbon pressure). These are financial capital (enamoured with digital possibilities, and scarce for energy businesses), and human capital (also becoming scarce).

Cloud: The wave of digitally driven change that has transformed other sectors is finally becoming real for energy, thanks to the pandemic. Unlike capital, digital is in abundance.

There is a sweet spot, a set of investment possibilities at the intersection of abundant digital innovation, the new growing low carbon economy, and scarce capital, that can help the industry lengthen its runway (by becoming more sustainable and less impactful).

The book is about describing this place, what digital technologies are fundamental to the sweet spot, the importance of helping people embrace the sweet spot, and the case examples of companies that are working to transform their businesses for this new world.

I believe every company working in oil and gas, and energy more broadly, can find their own version of the sweet spot, and claim it for their own. It’s not too late. The real challenge is not even technical, but rather the gap between our ability to innovate and the pace by which we can help people adopt innovation. The winners are going to be those that figure out how to close that gap, at scale.

The book has already attracted the attention of a major Chinese publisher who has indicated their interest in acquiring the global simplified Chinese language rights.

Here’s one of the many endorsements from the first readers.

Geoffrey Cann’s next installment in the series of how to digitize the complex world of Oil and Gas as it redefines itself to energy is captivating. Addressing the need for change is not just about the increased use of digital tools within traditionally manual processes but the reengineering of an engineering led operational construct built on a digital core.

This is not just a must read for the oil and gas engineer, executive and team member but anyone who sees the opportunity to reengineer the energy industry from the ground up.”

Nish Kotecha, chairman, Finboot

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A Celebration

As the pandemic recedes a little, it’s important that we find good reasons to celebrate, and a new book about the oil and gas industry is a good reason. A better reason is that the book is actually positive about the industry, whereas most publications about oil and gas are more dire. An even better reason is that the book was written by a Canadian, with our trademark wry sense of humour, our humility, and our balanced view of life.

To that end my book launch coming-out party takes place in Calgary on May 24, 2022, at the Calgary Petroleum Club.

Here’s a little video teaser for you.

There will be some brief speeches, a word or two from the sponsors, a fireside chat about the book and the current events of the day, and autographed and inscribed books for everyone. In fact, I visited an arts store in Place Alexis Nihon in Montreal on May 9th, just to pick up an assortment of calligraphy pens for the occasion.

Speaking about the sponsors, there are two.

Field Safe Solutions is a technology company that epitomises the digital potential for oil and gas. Field Safe has built a very easy to use safety platform for the work force. Safety is built into the DNA of the industry because unsafe work is a value destroyer, and Field Safe is applying digital tools like cloud computing and mobility applications to rethink lone worker safety, safe work conditions, and safety data collection. I serve on an advisory board to Field Safe.

VEERUM is a technology that solves the data challenge that plagues the oil and gas industry (among others). VEERUM provides a platform that brings together all the disparate data about assets, regardless of age, and enables asset workers to digitize, visualize, and analyze asset information, which unlocks collaboration opportunities with services and suppliers. I first met VEERUM when it was a resident of Zone Startups in Calgary, and pioneering the use of drones to collect data.

Some of the book’s contributors will be there, including three local people who I interviewed for the case studies. You can pepper them with questions about what they really think!

Put Your Party Shoes On

So come out, join the fun, and get your very own autographed and inscribed copy of this new book. The actual costs per person are in the $100 range but tickets are less than half that amount (thanks to the sponsors). Get your ticket here!


Check out my latest book, ‘Carbon, Capital, and the Cloud: A Playbook for Digital Oil and Gas’, available on Amazon and other on-line bookshops.

You might also like my first book, Bits, Bytes, and Barrels: The Digital Transformation of Oil and Gas’, also available on Amazon.

Take Digital Oil and Gas, the one-day on-line digital oil and gas awareness course on Udemy.

Mobile: ☎️ +1(587)830-6900
email: 📧 geoff@geoffreycann.com
website: 🖥 geoffreycann.com
LinkedIn: 🔵 www.linkedin.com/in/training-digital-oil-gas

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