Eaton is a power management company providing energy-efficient solutions that help customers effectively manage electrical, hydraulic and mechanical power. Gardiner Henderson shares his views on the oil and gas sector in general and technological trends in particular with Jibran Buchh.
Can you tell us something about Eaton’s oil and gas division?
Eton is a diversified company that includes a lot of sectors like aviation, mining, industrial, construction and vehicles. One of Eaton’s arms is in oil and gas sector, which provides critical equipment like motors, pumps, valves, clutches, brakes, hoses and fittings, critical components in exploratory equipment. Eaton took over Cooper Industries last November which has brought in a lot of electrical system.
It all comes together as we provide major products and components in oil and gas industry through a network of manufacturers. These include skidding machinery, hydraulics system, stabilisation system, power system, communication system etc., hence a complete portfolio.
How is Eaton’s oil and gas business doing in India?
The Indian oil business in general has been good for Eaton. We had a growth of 8 per cent last year. The capex this year in oil and gas sector is slightly over a trillion dollars worldwide and it is going to go up not just because of inflation but also investment in the sector. India will see investment of $90 to $100 billion dollars in next five years. We expect to grow further in India.
What are the challenges that you face in India?
India is currently the largest net importer of gas worldwide. India will be investing in shale and then India has good companies like ONGC, Reliance etc., so it’s a great time for the country’s oil and gas sector. But good times are accompanied by challenges like infrastructure. There is a need for good transportation and distribution system in India; then there are environmental concerns.
Do you have any expansion plans?
We acquired Copper Industries last November. Earlier this year, Eaton announced the inauguration of its filtration division’s first manufacturing, assembly and distribution facility in India. We look forward to help consume energy in a much efficient manner leading to cost saving. Look at our LED technology; it’s about reliability, safety and cost saving; it is an upfront technology which could save up to 60 per cent cost with enormous life.
Tell us about the dynamics of Eaton’s technology.
With oil and gas safety, reliability, efficiency and now more sustainability, we look forward to having products with long life. Now offshore and onshore equipment also have the same technology, like pressurised and hydraulic fluids around certain pieces of mechanics using hoses. These hoses are pretty large and are under pressure. The oil is typically hot, so in an offshore machine if the hose bursts there will be environmental impact, maybe casualties; you’ve got to shut down operations and you have to report the damage to the authorities. We have come up with technology that would notify you of errors. Automation will send the signal to turn off the system.
Now we are putting intelligence within the product so that it can make correct decisions. In case of electrical division, we don’t use toxic gas like SF-66 to insulate switchgears. We have a technology which doesn’t use gas thus ensuring reliability and safety.
What is your long-term vision for the oil and gas division?
The need for oil is greater than ever. As a result, more and more equipment is being built to support the increased need for oil to support the world’s growing economies. Oil derivatives is something which is used in everything, clothes, chairs, water bottles, glass, etc., so the oil industry has to grow. Hence, we at Eaton are committed to the most efficient use of natural resources by bringing customised hydraulic solutions and turnkey installation services to the oil and gas sector.