May 24, 2023

“America Is A Magnet For Bright People” Featuring Takajiro Ishikawa, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries America

Today we had the pleasure of hosting Takajiro Ishikawa in our office in Houston for a sweeping discussion of the technologies and broad topics influencing the future of energy. Tak is the President and CEO of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries America (MHIA). MHIA has 10,000 employees in the US spread over 66 locations and accounts for 20% of MHI’s global business. Tak is a seasoned executive with over thirty years of experience in the industry in both Tokyo and Houston, and since April 2022 has been leading MHIA’s efforts to deliver innovative and integrated solutions to the world. We were thrilled to visit with Tak.

In our conversation, Tak first provided fascinating background on the history of MHI and its formation 150 years ago to lead Japan’s industrial revolution. MHI’s formation has everything to do with Japan’s energy, industrial and supply chain security, something that every country is increasingly concerned about today. We split our time with Tak talking about MHI and Japan as a whole. It was fascinating.

As you will hear, Japan is by far the largest importer of LNG globally, and MHI was responsible for delivering a large portion of the LNG ships and shipyards in Japan. We touch on the intricacies of Japan’s location and the geological attributes, the limited options they have for solar and wind power, as well as the sensitivities around nuclear power in the country. Tak shares his perspective on how MHI is structurally organized, given their massive footprint, and how the company is pivoting from working on technologies that emit carbon to helping those same technologies reduce carbon emissions. We touch on the differences between the US and Japan in terms of deploying renewables at scale and MHIA’s hydrogen projects in Utah. We also cover Japan’s partnerships with other countries and technologies, the IRA’s global impact, Japan’s declining population, and much more. We ended with Tak’s long-term vision for MHIA. Overall, it was a riveting discussion and we greatly appreciate Tak’s enthusiasm for the industry and the future.

Mike Bradley kicked us off by highlighting that bond, commodity, and equity markets have been directionless due to the current U.S. debt ceiling talks and will likely continue this pattern until an agreement is reached. He also highlighted two upstream deals this week (one all cash and one all stock) and last week’s large midstream deal. He highlighted these deals to drive home the point that energy consolidation will continue to be robust (especially upstream consolidation) because a key investor concern, especially as it relates to the sustainability of significant return of/on capital programs beyond the next 2-3 years, are quality and quantity of future inventory. Arjun Murti prepped us for our discussion with Tak with an overview of Japan’s energy landscape and unique approach to secure a diversity of energy commodities, further driving the idea that no one model fits all.

We want to thank Tak for sharing his time and perspective with us today. Our best to you all!

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January 4, 2023

“We Haven’t Seen This Before Because We Haven’t Needed To” Featuring Danny Rice, NET Power

Happy 2023 to you all! Welcome to the first COBT of the year featuring Danny Rice, incoming CEO of NET Power. Danny has a remarkable perspective from which he could discuss many of the issues and opportunities in today's energy world.

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