By BEN DuBOSE
HOUSTON -- The modern US energy revolution should continue
for the foreseeable future because its leaders have shown a
commitment to innovative technologies, according to Joe
Kaeser, CEO of Germany-based engineering and integrated
technologies company Siemens.
Kaeser delivered the keynote address on Wednesday's "natural
gas day" at the IHS CERAWeek 2014 conference.
"The US is not only paving the way for the manufacturing
sector because energy is so cheap and stable here right now,"
said Kaeser. "The US has another advantage going for it, and
that's its innovation leadership in the area of digitization.
"Some call it the internet of things. We call it 'Industry
4.0' in Germany. Many companies in the US have already
started to invest in leaner, more efficient and
software-driven high-tech production."
Kaeser referred to the US energy transformation as a
"once-in-a-lifetime moment", noting that his company had
invested over $25 billion in the US just over the past
"You have the knowledge, and you have the right people in the
field of digitalization to drive this transformation of your
industry landscape," he said. "That's why we invest here."
The Siemens CEO said the US still has "questions to answer'
to determine how the new energy landscape plays out over the
coming decades. Two examples, he said, were whether to export
LNG and how to transport energy within the US and North
America once it is extracted.
But regardless of what the ultimate US decision is, Kaeser
said his company would be prepared and ready to invest.
"If the US decides to keep most of its new natural gas, we
provide technologies that make pipelines unmatched in terms
of efficiency," he said.
"If pipelines aren't developed and rail transportation is the
best alternative, we build the most efficient locomotives in
"And if the US decides it is in its best interest to export
gas, we provide innovative LNG technology
Kaeser said he expects the US to likely become the world's
largest oil and gas producer this year, all while becoming
significantly less dependent on imports from foreign
locations such as the Middle East.
"The US is once again the place to be," he said. "More and
more global companies are seeking to enlarge their footprint
"We are all witnessing, and participating in, the
reindustrialization of the United States. I think it's fair
to say that the development of horizontal drilling may have
been the biggest shift of balance in the global economy since
China joined the World Trade Organization (WTO)."
Because of that, opportunities are abundant within the
nation's oil and gas sector, Kaeser explained. And companies
such as his are doing all they can to be prepared.
"We're ready to go, because we're on top of the global energy
agenda," he said. "And we believe in the US energy story."
The IHS CERAWeek 2014 conference continues through Friday
at the Hilton Americas in downtown Houston.
Photo by F. Carter Smith, Bloomberg