It's time you met John Butler (age 44), our new Heads of Business Development for Energy and Energy Transition

Posted by: Global Maritime | Date: August 20, 2021
Global Maritime

1. Who is John Butler?

I live in Aberdeen but grew up in a small fishing village in the Southeast of Ireland. I am married to Jenieve, and we have two children Ethan and Elanna as well as two dogs, Yogi and Chewy…

In my spare time I run and have recently got back into open water swimming, not the easiest activity based in the Northeast of Scotland!!

After studying in the Warsash Maritime College in Southampton I spent the early part of my career working in the Merchant Navy with Stolt Nielsen. I completed my Class 4 Certificate of Competency and worked as a 4th Engineering Officer on “K40 Class” Chemical Tankers.

I decided to pursue a Mechanical Engineering Degree, which brought me to Aberdeen. I studied at the Robert Gordon University completing my degree in 2001. After graduating I joined Coflexip Stena Offshore, (now known as TechnipFMC), spending 6 years working on EPIC contracts for North Sea oil and gas industry. In 2007 I moved back to Ireland and worked with Jacobs Engineering where I was responsible for administering the marine civil engineering contract for Dublin Port Company. Although I enjoyed this work when the opportunity arose to work back in the offshore oil and gas sector, I was happy to accept. I started working with a small company called MCS to manage the delivery of flexible and umbilical systems for offshore oil and gas projects. MCS was acquired by Wood Group and I spent the next 12 years working in project management, operations management and business acquisition roles. At the beginning of 2020 I left Wood and decided to focus on Energy Transition developing a hydrogen project called “The North Sea Hy-Ships Study” which was funded by the Oil and Gas Technology Centre, (OGTC) and Aberdeen Harbour Board. During this time, I also worked with renewable energy technology companies to develop their business case and access funding to further develop their technologies.

I am a Chartered Engineer and Fellow of the IMarEST, in 2020 I also became an elected council member of the institute. I am Committee Chair for the Aberdeen Maritime Branch which provides Continuous Professional Development, (CPD), through a series of technical lectures to members of RINA and IMarEST. I am also a qualified Project Management practitioner with the Association of Project Management, (APM).

2. There is now a lot of discussion around Energy Transition, how do you see this impacting the offshore industry?

The buzz now is very much around Energy Transition. Everyone is grappling with the term and trying to understand how their businesses and business models will adapt to the transition. From an offshore oil and gas perspective this is currently focused on the drive is to decarbonize the extraction and production of oil and gas operations. The initial steps are to implement the electrification of oil and gas production. The integration of renewable energy with oil and gas operations is something that will only increase in the coming decades to support this decarbonization strategy.

Major oil and gas operators are now investing in renewable energy as means to decarbonize their production but also to offset their carbon emissions. This presents an opportunity for the oil and gas supply chain to use their existing skillsets to support these decarbonization activities. For example, Carbon Capture Utilization and Storage, (CCUS) will require subsurface mapping to identify suitable locations for storage of CO2, engineering design and construction of pipeline infrastructure for CO2 sequestration. Similarly, the acceleration in demand for offshore floating wind requires large floating structures and associated mooring systems, these are skillsets that we at Global Maritime have a real opportunity to influence and impact based on our core competency and skillsets. Finally, hydrogen is never out of the press these days. The opportunity to integrate offshore renewable energy and electrolysis to produce green hydrogen and use CCUS to produce Blue Hydrogen builds on the existing skills of the oil and gas sector.

Energy Transition will create many opportunities for businesses if they understand the drivers of their clients and can create the best value proposition.

3. What are your goals in your new position?

My initial goals are to familiarize myself with Global Maritime as a business and how we support our clients internationally. Much of our work is “repeat business” and “walk-in” work, this is highly relevant as it demonstrates our competency and reputation within the marine industry. The opportunity is to build on this strong foundation and maximize cross selling opportunities within the organization. Through the implementation of a BD structure that operates globally we will be able to identify and acquire new business and increase revenue.

My first impression of Global Maritime has been validated since joining the business. As a marine consultancy we have a group of highly trained and competent personnel who are digitally enabled through our own proprietary software to provide value to our customers. This is an area I want to build upon to position Global Maritime as thought leaders within the maritime sector and Blue Economy. This will increase our exposure to clients and ensure that we are recognized as industry leaders in marine consultancy.

Furthermore, I will bring to bear my previous experience in oil and gas and energy transition sectors to create new opportunities and increase our market share in the maritime sector.

4. How do you find Social Media ?

I am a big advocate of social media, but as with most things in life, “everything in moderation, including moderation” … From a professional perspective my go-to platform remains LinkedIn. However, businesses are making more use of twitter and Instagram to capture customer attention and drive more traffic to their websites. Most recently I have been using the Clubhouse platform which is an audio media platform where you can host a room. You can hold a discussion on any topic and then invite members of the audience to ask questions and provide comments. I have found this a very useful platform to engage with an eclectic mix of individuals and businesses in the energy industry.

I do draw the line at TicTok, and Snapchat, I leave that to my kids…

5. Something else?

I was delighted to get the opportunity to join Global Maritime, this has only been reinforced since taking up my position and I wanted to thank everyone for the help and support they have given me. I have always advocated an “open door” policy, (both physically and virtually) and would encourage any member of staff to contact me if they have any ideas, customers, or sectors they wish to discuss.

One of the key strengths I see as an organization is our agility. This is a term often used but rarely realized. At Global Maritime agility is in our nature. This coupled with our competency in the marine sector puts us in a very strong position. I am thrilled to be a part of Global Maritime during this exciting time for the marine industry and look forward to playing my part in developing our business.

Interested in more news and updates from Global Maritime?