Here's what you need yo know this week. Photo via Getty Images

Editor's note: It's a new week — start it strong with three quick things to know in Houston's energy transition ecosystem: Baker Hughes makes headlines for new hydrogen tech and grants, three people to know in energy, and more.

Who to know

Last week, EnergyCapital had three stories introducing you to key players within the energy transition:

  • Patrick Sullivan, president and of Hawaii-based Oceanit, explained the impact the company is having on the energy transition in Houston and beyond. Read more.
  • Ken Gilmartin, CEO of Wood, shared his company’s strategic mission for the future and their recent wins in the energy space that are driving the energy transition forward. Read more.
  • Tania Ortiz Mena was named president of Sempra Infrastructure, which is based in Houston. Read more.

What to attend

Here are two events not to miss this month. Photo via Getty Images

Put these upcoming events on your radar.

  • October 10-11 — SPRINT Robotics World Conference and Exhibition will show that many robots are in use and that the industry is accelerating and starting to scale. Learn more.
  • October 30-31 — Fuze is a must-attend event for executives, investors, and founders serious about solving the energy crisis and boosting company efficiency. Learn more.

Baker Hughes makes moves

Missed these storied about Baker Hughes? Photo courtesy of Baker Hughes

As you might have seen, Baker Hughes had two pieces of news last week.

Houston-based energy technology company Baker Hughes is rolling out two new products — pressure sensors for the hydrogen sector.

“Hydrogen plays a key role in the transition to a more sustainable, lower-emissions future but also poses challenges for infrastructure and equipment due to hydrogen embrittlement,” Gordon Docherty says. Read more.

Additionally, the Baker Hughes Foundation revealed details on a $75,000 grant to Houston Minority Supplier Development Council, or HMSDC, and a $100,000 grant to Washington, D.C.-based WEConnect International. HMSDC supports economic growth of minority-owned businesses, and WEConnect International is focused on women-owned companies. Read more.

Ken Gilmartin, CEO of Wood, joins HETI for a Q&A. Photo courtesy of HETI

Q&A: Houston engineering, consulting exec on designing a low-carbon future

the view from heti

Global engineering and consulting firm Wood is a pioneering force in the energy transition landscape.

The Houston Energy Transition Initiative recently sat down with Ken Gilmartin, CEO of Wood, to learn more about the company’s strategic mission for the future and their recent wins in the energy space that are driving the energy transition forward.

Houston Energy Transition Institute: Can you give our audience an overview of Wood and your mission to help reach net-zero?

Ken Gilmartin: We are a company of 36,000 remarkable people delivering some of the world’s most complex and transformative projects for our clients. As an engineering and consulting firm, we’re passionate about delivering net-zero solutions across two key markets, energy and materials.

Our passion derives from our people whose curiosity, skills and expertise have always driven the advancement and transformation of industry, pushing the envelope of what is possible. Sustainability is core to us as engineers and consultants and we take our responsibility in delivering the net-zero solutions critical to the world, very seriously.

We live in the future – designing and delivering facilities today that will operate more effectively, efficiently and sustainably tomorrow by integrating technologies to decarbonize and digital solutions that derive data to ensure this.

HETI: Wood was recently selected as an EPCM partner by Canadian battery materials company Euro Manganese Inc. with a mission to design Europe’s largest high-purity manganese processing facility. How critical is this project to the energy transition?  

KG: Hugely critical. As a mineral used in most lithium-ion batteries, it is core to the electric vehicle industry and therefore, the energy transition.

This project is the only significant source of manganese in the European Union today. With mineral reserves of 27 million tonnes, this project could provide up to 20 percent of the projected European demand for high-purity manganese, which will provide battery supply chains with critical raw materials to support the shift to a circular, low carbon economy.

This innovative project holds real significance for Wood as we continue to lead the development of critical mineral projects — with specialist expertise in hydrometallurgy and a passion for designing sustainable energy and materials infrastructure.

HETI: Closer to HETI’s home, what have you got going on in the region in the energy transition space?

KG: As a result of the Inflation Reduction Act and other key government policies and incentives, we’re seeing a significant uptick in the number of decarbonization projects, particularly hydrogen and carbon capture storage (CCS).

Wood is at the forefront of advising our clients on funding opportunities and taking the lead on the development of Department of Energy applications to ensure critical net zero projects go from paper to production. We see ourselves as a collaborator across the entire process, from funding and feasibility to engineering, design, start-up and operations.

Ten years ago, we delivered Century Plant in West Texas, which at the time, was the largest CO2 plant in the world. Our involvement in needle-moving projects in the region hasn’t stopped.

We have near 4000 people in Texas advising and delivering some of the most innovative energy transition projects, including work on the critical CCS and hydrogen hub program proposed right here in Houston and across the U.S. We’re also supporting our clients in the funding and application stages of their direct air capture projects; we’re meeting the demand for low-carbon fuel alternatives in the areas of hydrogen fuel-switching, electrofuels and biofuels; and we’re delivering e-methanol projects along the U.S. Gulf Coast that will target and abate maritime emissions. You name it, we’re doing it.

As the DOE looks to award further funding rounds for hydrogen, carbon capture and industrial decarbonization projects in 2024, we’re excited about the tremendous opportunities this presents for the region and the role we can play in Houston’s future as the world’s energy capital.

Learn more about Wood, and their work in the energy transition.


This article originally ran on the Greater Houston Partnership's Houston Energy Transition Initiative blog. HETI exists to support Houston's future as an energy leader. For more information about the Houston Energy Transition Initiative, EnergyCapitalHTX's presenting sponsor, visit

Ad Placement 300x100
Ad Placement 300x600

CultureMap Emails are Awesome

ExxonMobil's $60B acquisition gets FTC clearance — with one condition

M&A moves

ExxonMobil's $60 billion deal to buy Pioneer Natural Resources on Thursday received clearance from the Federal Trade Commission, but the former CEO of Pioneer was barred from joining the new company's board of directors.

The FTC said Thursday that Scott Sheffield, who founded Pioneer in 1997, colluded with OPEC and OPEC+ to potentially raise crude oil prices. Sheffield retired from the company in 2016, but he returned as president and CEO in 2019, served as CEO from 2021 to 2023, and continues to serve on the board. Since Jan. 1, he has served as special adviser to the company’s chief executive.

“Through public statements, text messages, in-person meetings, WhatsApp conversations and other communications while at Pioneer, Sheffield sought to align oil production across the Permian Basin in West Texas and New Mexico with OPEC+,” according to the FTC. It proposed a consent order that Exxon won't appoint any Pioneer employee, with a few exceptions, to its board.

Dallas-based Pioneer said in a statement it disagreed with the allegations but would not impede closing of the merger, which was announced in October 2023.

“Sheffield and Pioneer believe that the FTC’s complaint reflects a fundamental misunderstanding of the U.S. and global oil markets and misreads the nature and intent of Mr. Sheffield’s actions,” the company said.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said it was “disappointing that FTC is making the same mistake they made 25 years ago when I warned about the Exxon and Mobil merger in 1999.”

Schumer and 22 other Democratic senators had urged the FTC to investigate the deal and a separate merger between Chevron and Hess, saying they could lead to higher prices, hurt competition and force families to pay more at the pump.

The deal with Pioneer vastly expands Exxon’s presence in the Permian Basin, a huge oilfield that straddles the border between Texas and New Mexico. Pioneer’s more than 850,000 net acres in the Midland Basin will be combined with Exxon’s 570,000 net acres in the Delaware and Midland Basin, nearly contiguous fields that will allow the combined company to trim costs.

ExxonMobil revs up EV pilot in Permian Basin

seeing green

ExxonMobil has upgraded its Permian Basin fleet of trucks with sustainability in mind.

The Houston-headquartered company announced a new pilot program last week, rolling out 10 new all-electric pickup trucks at its Cowboy Central Delivery Point in southeast New Mexico. It's the first time the company has used EVs in any of its upstream sites, including the Permian Basin.

“We expect these EV trucks will require less maintenance, which will help reduce cost, while also contributing to our plan to achieve net zero Scope 1 and 2 emissions in our Permian operations by 2030," Kartik Garg, ExxonMobil's New Mexico production manager, says in a news release.

ExxonMobil has already deployed EV trucks at its facilities in Baytown, Beaumont, and Baton Rouge, but the Permian Basin, which accounts for about half of ExxonMobil's total U.S. oil production, is a larger site. The company reports that "a typical vehicle there can log 30,000 miles a year."

The EV rollout comes after the company announced last year that it plans to be a major supplier of lithium for EV battery technology.

At the end of last year, ExxonMobil increased its financial commitment to implementing more sustainable solutions. The company reported that it is pursuing more than $20 billion of lower-emissions opportunities through 2027.

Cowboys and the EVs of the Permian Basin |