Q&A With Ingrid Huldal, Director for Sustainable Energy Solutions, Expro Group

Ingrid Huldal, Director for Sustainable Energy Solutions, at Expro discusses the future of low carbon solutions and the critical role of mentoring and networking.

Please tell us about your company and the work you are doing in the new energy sector.

Working for clients across the entire well life cycle, Expro is a leading provider of energy services, offering cost-effective, innovative solutions and best-in-class safety and service quality. The company’s extensive portfolio of capabilities spans well construction, well flow management, subsea well access, and well integrity and intervention.

Founded in 1938, Expro has more than 7,200 employees and provides services and solutions to leading exploration and production companies in both onshore and offshore environments in approximately 60 countries with over 100 locations.

Today, Expro’s wells expertise and range of well intervention, integrity and flow measurement offerings are transferable to the geothermal industry, offering a low-carbon line of business adjacent to its oil and gas portfolio. As the energy industry seeks to address the challenges of tomorrow, Expro is well positioned to play a leading role in enabling its clients to achieve their carbon reduction goals in support of the energy transition.

Why did you choose a career in the energy industry?

From the age of 10, I was drawn to the energy industry, inspired by my father who worked on drilling rigs. I would eagerly absorb his training materials and any information I could find on oil and gas, fascinated by the transformation of fuel into electricity and the global travel opportunities the field offered.

My passion shifted towards sustainable energy during a trip to New Zealand, where I discovered the potential of geothermal energy. Since then, I have dedicated myself to learning about and advancing renewable energy and decarbonization technologies.

As a perpetual learner, what I love most about working in this industry is that the energy sector’s constant evolution offers continuous learning opportunities and new challenges, fuelling my growth and enthusiasm.

Working in the low carbon energy space is particularly thrilling. I believe it not only advances environmental goals but also supports progress towards gender parity and fosters an inclusive working environment. This field is not just my career; it’s a platform for meaningful impact.

The new energy sector is rapidly evolving, what do you think we can expect to see in the next three, five, and ten years, and how does your work feed into this?

The energy sector is indeed undergoing rapid transformation, and looking ahead at the next three, five, and ten years, we can anticipate a vibrant mix of energy solutions and technologies. In Scotland, where the potential to leverage diverse energy resources is immense, we expect to see significant advancements.

Wind energy, in particular, will continue to be pivotal in driving Scotland’s economic growth. It’s an area ripe for continued expansion and innovation, further bolstering our energy landscape.

At Expro, our goal is to expand our Sustainable Energy Solutions division significantly. I anticipate that a growing portion of our business will stem from low-carbon energy sources. As economies of scale enhance efficiencies and reduce costs, I expect our focus on hydrogen to intensify, positioning it as a vital element of our energy portfolio. Additionally, we are likely to see more carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) projects reaching final investment decision (FID) stages, marking a significant stride in our efforts to cut carbon emissions. With the upcoming launch of the UK geothermal centre, I am also very optimistic about the potential for pioneering homegrown geothermal energy projects.

For young engineers and scientists entering the field, the evolving energy industry offers a plethora of exciting opportunities. It’s an ideal time to engage with cutting-edge technologies and contribute to the development of sustainable and innovative energy solutions that will shape the future of our global energy framework.

Mentors and allies are an important part of encouraging diversity across the industry. Who would you say has inspired and supported you in your career so far?

I totally agree that mentors and allies are pivotal in nurturing diversity across the industry. I would not have reached where I am today without the immense power of support, encouragement, and the critical role of mentoring and networking. Throughout my career journey, I’ve had the privilege of being supported by several male managers who not only believed in equality but actively championed it. They created environments where the voices of women were heard, valued, and respected, which has been instrumental in my professional growth.

I draw inspiration from a diverse group of people, from old friends to new, all of whom share a positive and inspirational spirit. I’m immensely grateful for my network of inspiring women, my tribe of cheerleaders, who have supported me unwaveringly. Their encouragement and wisdom have propelled me to heights I never imagined, illustrating the profound impact of a supportive and varied network.

What advice would you give to those looking to transition to a career in new energy?

Transitioning to a career in new energy is an exciting and impactful choice! My advice would be to start by immersing yourself in the industry as much as possible. Keep up-to-date with the latest trends, technologies, and regulatory developments by reading industry publications and attending relevant conferences and webinars. Networking is also key—connect with professionals already in the field to gain insights and advice. Don’t hesitate to join professional groups or online communities focused on new energy.

Education and training play a crucial role as well. Depending on your current expertise, you might consider formal education or certifications in specific areas like renewable energy, sustainability, or environmental policy. Practical experience, such as internships or volunteer positions in related fields, can also be incredibly valuable.

Lastly, be adaptable and open to learning. The energy sector is rapidly evolving, and being flexible and eager to acquire new skills can significantly smooth your transition. Remember, every step you take is a move toward contributing to a sustainable future!

Find out how Expro’s full-cycle energy services offer award-winning safety

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