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Digitalization Energy Sector Project management

How root cause analysis can help your solution implementation


Root Cause Analysis, Project Management, Energy, Transition

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Root Cause Analysis, Project Management, Energy, Transition


Root Cause Analysis, Project Management, Energy, Transition

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Root Cause Analysis, Project Management, Energy, Transition


Root Cause Analysis, Project Management, Energy, Transition

Written by  

Root Cause Analysis, Project Management, Energy, Transition

How root cause analysis can help your solution implementation

What is Root Cause Analysis?

Root cause analysis (RCA) is a problem-solving technique used to identify the underlying potential causes of

an issue or problem. The purpose of RCA is to determine why a problem occurred in the first place, rather than simply addressing its symptoms. The objective is to find long term solutions.

Why is it key?

If a problem has occurred once, it can occur again. If the root cause is identified and addressed, the problem is unlikely to happen again. Root cause analysis can prevent future problems, minimize the severity of the issues and can be seen as a tool or habit to continuously improve.

Root Cause Analysis, Project Management, Energy, Transition

How to apply it?

The RCA process typically involves the following steps:

A. Identify and describe the problem or issue.

B. Gather data and evidence about the problem.

C. Analyze data to determine root and approximate causes

  • Decompose the problem into basic events and conditions, describing what happened. Asking “WHY” helps to dig toward the root cause and its conditions. However, to use when the team environment is positive and supportive; alternatively, the communication may tend to be unilateral, instead of a collaborative and useful exercise.
  • Create a time line and workflow, summarizing events and steps as a causal factor tree
  • Check logic and facts while eliminating items that are not causes nor contributing factors.    

D. Develop and implement solutions to address the root causes of the problem.

E. Monitor the effectiveness of the solutions.

Some questions to ask during the analysis phases

  • Clarifying origins of the problems.

What happened?

What caused it?

Where and when was the cause?

Where and when was its effect?

What was the magnitude of effect?

  • Defining the cause and its effect, challenge the assumptions and look for evidence and alternative perspectives:

What are all the potential causes we can think of?

How do we know this is a cause?

What else could have caused this issue?

What can we do to prove or disprove our assumptions?

  • Get some others’ perspectives.
  • Examine consequences and implications.

What are the consequences of the causes?

What are their severities?

What are the factors of the severity of the effect?

  • Go to solutions and focus on the way forward

How can we solve problems?

How can we prevent the effect happened again or to be more severe?

What can we do differently now that we know the root cause?

How will this help us in the future?

Why it can be difficult to apply?

  • A systematic approach is not used – Consider applying the workflow from data collection to solution monitoring.
  • Not enough time is dedicated for data gathering, analysis or retrospective – Think of the long term benefit to apply this analysis.
  • The problem is not clearly defined – Dedicate enough time to the 1st step of identifying and articulating the issue to resolve.
  • Skills, knowledge, or experience to understand the root cause are not available. This is required at all steps of the workflow to identify the problem, to collect data and facts, to perform the analysis, to provide solutions and to monitor new outcomes.  
  • Solutions are based on guesses or assumptions – Before implementing solutions, make sure to focus on facts.
  • Solutions are not permanent, nor monitored – Focus on solution implementation for long term with monitoring aspect to test and evaluate effectiveness of the solutions.

How to make successful analysis?

  • Use and practice standardized approach regularly.
  • Adopt fact-based decision making: Eliminate opinions or guesses.
  • Build a mind map or a diagram to show relationships, causes, effects, conditions view and timeline.
  • Test to confirm if the root cause has been found.
  • Implement permanent corrective solutions.
  • Monitor regularly if the solution is practical, feasible, and cost-effective, robust and sustainable.

RCA and Digital Solution Development

RCA is an important tool for identifying the underlying causes of problems and issues that can arise during

a digital solutions development project. By understanding the root causes of problems, teams can develop more effective solutions that address the underlying issues. RCA can be used at various stages of a project of development for digital solutions, including during planning, development, and testing phases. For example, if a team encounters issues with delays in development, poor quality output, or lack of stakeholder engagement, RCA can help identify the root causes of these issues. The analysis is done in collaboration with all stakeholders, and gathering data from multiple sources, reviewing key performance indicators, getting feedback from stakeholders, conducting interviews with team members and users.

Once the root causes have been identified, teams can design, develop and test effective solutions that address the issues. This may involve changes to project planning or development processes, additional training for team members, or adjustments to project requirements or timelines.

By applying RCA to project management for digital solutions development, teams can improve their ability to deliver successful projects that meet stakeholder expectations, and ensure that any problems or issues that arise are identified and effectively resolved. Teams move from acting in a reactive mode into a proactive mode with the benefit on solutions quality and users’ appreciation.

References

Introduction to Root Cause Analysis https://aaq.auburn.edu/node/9990/take

Mental Models https://fs.blog/proximate-vs-root-causes/

Photo from Unsplash Milad Fakurian

Contact

Would you like to contact me, don’t hesitate to do so at the following email address:

GMichaud@GM-Consult.it

Root Cause Analysis, Project Management, Energy, Transition

Optimize your project success and delivery !

360° Energy and Environment Consultant

Geoscience & Monitoring Consulting (GMC) is delivering project management and digital solutions to guide innovative and technical leaders.

Root Cause Analysis, Project Management, Energy, Transition

Gwenola Michaud

360° Energy and Environment Consultant

20 years of expertise in managing people and projects, as well as developing, testing and delivering software solutions to improve team success and business growth.

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Digitalization Energy Sector Project management

How to apply “first things first” when developing and delivering digital solutions


First Things First, Pareto Principle, Project Management, Energy, Transition

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First Things First, Pareto Principle, Project Management, Energy, Transition


First Things First, Pareto Principle, Project Management, Energy, Transition

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First Things First, Pareto Principle, Project Management, Energy, Transition


First Things First, Pareto Principle, Project Management, Energy, Transition

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First Things First, Pareto Principle, Project Management, Energy, Transition

How to apply “first things first” when developing and delivering digital solutions

Pareto Principle – 80/20 Rule

The 80/20 rule, also known as the Pareto principle, indicates that about 80% of the consequences come from 20% of causes. The Pareto principle is a great model to keep in mind when prioritizing tasks and developing strategic plans. In the case of software or digital solution development, here are some examples of difficult scenarios that teams can face:

+ 80% of the development effort covers only 20% of the requirements needed by the business, leading to

delayed delivery and tension between users and development teams.

+ 80% of test cases cover only 20% of the features to test, leading to incomplete validation and inferior

quality of new features.

+ the majority of users use only 20% of the validated features upon roll out.

To maintain the pessimist point of view, these negative situations are not mutually exclusive. So, the key question to consider: how do we help teams to be more strategic in cases where the minimum development effort would cover the majority of the requirements, in alignment with business needs?

Requirement prioritization as a regular practice for the entire team

One way to put “first things first” is to focus on requirements, including requirement gathering, understanding, validation and their prioritization. Teams can’t design, develop and test all required features at

once. Requirements need to be gathered, documented and understood. In addition, they need to be prioritized regularly. This prioritization should be a fundamental and regular exercise where all stakeholders contribute in close cooperation. Customers/users and the wider development team (i.e., designers, developers, testers) collectively determine the potential value of a requirement, the cost to implement, and at what level of risk.

Users and development teams need to exchange information on requirement importance and cost/complexity in development and validation. It is difficult to adequately prioritize when evaluating only the business considerations, or only the development considerations. Furthermore, sometimes reevaluation needs to take place concurrently, based on the trade-offs between development cost estimates and business inputs. Users can and should be able to reevaluate feature importance, based on cost estimates and on the technical impact on the future architecture of the solution, if the feature or component is not implemented early in the project. Finally, users’ input during feature validation should be considered regularly. So, how do we do this?

First Things First, Pareto Principle, Project Management, Energy, Transition

Requirement prioritization considering the business case, the development costs and the risk

Alignment between business considerations and overall solution design and evolution is essential to optimum development and needs to be completed on a regular basis, as suggested by Wieger (1999). Such a review should consider the potential value of the developments to the business, alongside the costs incurred and risk assumed in development. The merit in this method is that it considers all requirements together, from both business and technical points of view. It enables teams to identify the features and components to prioritize, based on relevance to business and feasibility in development. This prioritization of requirements needs to include all available requirements, all relative development costs and all risks, according to the following priority level:

Note that business relevance could be estimated considering the relative benefit and relative penalty.

Limitations and challenges

Of course, this analysis may be tedious if the backlog includes hundreds of requirements. Some tough decisions may be needed to reduce the scope of requirements and to stagger the delivery plan into phases as a function of business needs and development capacity. Additionally, it can be difficult to understand how intermediate versions of a solution can and should be used in the interim, until delivery of the complete solution. However, the decision should consider the resource capacity alongside user expectations, to maintain the development team’s focus; delivering relevant solutions on time, within budget and meeting business expectations.

To tackle a complex system, a breakdown by element or component is required. The team’s focus is to develop according to priority. However, some resources should still be dedicated to clarifying and reviewing the integration of all components. In doing so, all stakeholders get a clear understanding of the complete solution under development. Dedicated communication and clarification of information should be encouraged throughout the process to ensure that any perceived complexity is acknowledged and teams are aligned on the overall development vision.

Teams should also review existing third-party components or available libraries which could remove the need for further development by building upon existing components. This approach requires a level of flexibility and certain capabilities within the team, such that the study and analysis of components

outside a given organization is possible. This role is rare, but so useful.

Using development satisfaction level to monitor progress and alignment

For any solution, it is fundamental to monitor user satisfaction level by ensuring feedback from the user validation phase is incorporated into lessons learnt and/or new requirements. Of course, any new requirement should be considered in conjunction with the existing requirements and/or those already added to the wish list. Without this information loop, the global development team risks working based on assumptions rather than gathered data, and drifting away from agreed business targets and user preferences. In this case, development satisfaction can be based on business relevance (common to the priority level), user satisfaction, or the actual cost of the development and validation phases:

In order to build in a considered and continuous manner that remains pertinent to the business, regular deployment is key. This enables teams to learn alongside users, take decisions based on priority and satisfaction level, and closely monitor relevance and progress during the entire development cycle.

Cooperation between teams is essential to continuous and regular delivery of solutions which address business objectives. Utilizing the feedback loop method when considering added requirements, where regular reviews and reprioritization is core practice, enables development and user teams to continually learn,

evolve and adapt solutions.

Would you like to contact me, don’t hesitate to do so at the following email address:

GMichaud@GM-Consult.it

Acknowledgements:

Wiegers, K., 1999, First Things First, https://www.processimpact.com/articles/prioritizing.pdf

Photo from Austin Distel – Unsplash

First Things First, Pareto Principle, Project Management, Energy, Transition

Optimize your project success and delivery !

360° Energy and Environment Consultant

Geoscience & Monitoring Consulting (GMC) is delivering project management and digital solutions to guide innovative and technical leaders.

First Things First, Pareto Principle, Project Management, Energy, Transition

Gwenola Michaud

360° Energy and Environment Consultant

20 years of expertise in managing people and projects, as well as developing, testing and delivering software solutions to improve team success and business growth.

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Digitalization Energy Sector Project management

Using the feedback loop approach within the cause-and-effect model in the context of digital solution development


Feedback Loop, Cause and Effect, Project Management, Energy, Transition

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Feedback Loop, Cause and Effect, Project Management, Energy, Transition

Exploring new opportunities with our team can lead to better and more innovative solutions for our users

The cause-and-effect model is based on the notion that every input or “cause” creates an output or “effect”. This model is fundamental and represents two elements:

  1. the first, on the cause side, relates to our responsibility for our actions. For each action taken, we should consider its effect and consequence;
  2. the second, on the effect side, relates to freedom of choice and actions. For each unsatisfactory outcome or situation, if we identify the cause, we can adjust the condition in order to create a new or better outcome.

Accordingly, responsibility for our actions and freedom of choice and actions are fundamental aspects of the cause-and-effect model. Good! But how can we effectively adopt and implement this model in our projects?

The feedback loop: a practical tool to support the cause-and-effect model

The feedback loop, which is based on a ‘listening, trying, understanding and adjusting’ approach, is particularly effective in adapting the cause-and-effect model into continuous improvement. It is also a practical way to explore root causes for breakages, underperforming features, and to iterate to fine-tune or optimize situations. The process allows teams to try, fail, learn, and then try again in a different manner. By connecting the output of an action with its input, teams can drive a culture of continuous learning and improvement.

Feedback Loop, Cause and Effect, Project Management, Energy, Transition

What’s the feedback loop in the context of digital solution development?

When applied to project management in general, employing a feedback loop approach allows teams to monitor the progress of a project and to refine plans, adjust timing, costs, or quality-level estimates in response to given indicators. In the case of digital solution development and delivery, the feedback loop is implemented at multiple levels: including how requirements are captured and understood, the roll out and validation of the design phase, the development and implementation of internal testing, and finally user validation. Multiple teams play a role in this process, including users, designers, developers, and testing and validation teams.

Feedback Loop, Cause and Effect, Project Management, Energy, Transition

The pitfalls in digital solution development when teams don’t employ a feedback loop

Digital solution development requires the inputs of multiple teams, functionalities, codes, and technologies to realize the end-product. By its very nature, it presents multiple occasions for things to go wrong or perform sub-optimally. Here are just some examples where the use or not of a feedback loop is concerned:

  1. No feedback loop within at least one phase of the solution development. Without a feedback loop there’s no iteration during the understand and requirement-gathering phase, the design phase, product development, testing or validation. Product teams who base their decisions on internal understanding of requirements without considering the end users risk a final solution that does not respond to the needs and expectations of this group.
  2. Disconnect between user validation and user requirement. Consumer teams responsible for validation of the solution are not always those who defined the initial requirements. Product development can be a long process and changes to team structure where stakeholders move in and out during the development phase often happen and can threaten the overall efficiency of development and validation.
  3. Solution requirement definition does not include criteria for product validation. The team has defined the ‘what’ of the solution, but not how to test and validate that product. Requirement gathering is lengthy and difficult, requiring knowledge and domain-specific understanding. However, it is also key to complete requirement phase with specifications on the validation side. Without any specification, testing teams won’t have a clear framework against which to evaluate the final solution.
  4. Lack of connection between teams through the entire solution development cycle. Teams can be dispersed in various places around the globe, with different work hours and culture, and competing objectives which can distract focus from the common objective. This situation occurs when communication between team leaders is irregular or opaque, and when individual team interests are put ahead of global cooperation and broader objectives.

Solutions to consider to foster a productive feedback loop

  1. Each Team Lead takes ownership of monitoring internal work and reporting coherent updates of their team’s activity in order to foster internal feedback and take appropriate actions.
  2. Global teams take responsibility for closing the gap between requirement definition and solution validation phases. When the project is drawn out and/or key stakeholders are replaced, iterating around requirement definition and validation criteria is highly recommended.
  3. Empower technical and domain experts and key stakeholders to participate in refinement of requirements with an eye on the defined validation criteria. As the solution is developed, it is essential to check, refine, and adjust the requirements and validation criteria to ensure ongoing development and validation remains in alignment with users’ needs, and accounts for evolutions of needs and expectations over time.
  4. Empower team leads to exchange feedback aligned with the common objective while respecting the differing needs and cultures of the various teams involved in the digital solution development. Sharing feedback fosters a cooperative spirit in the pursuit of a common goal, and ensuring learning, progress and growth within the global team will enable better collaboration. Regular touchpoints which center around the global objectives will ensure effective communication, understanding of respective interests and challenges, leading to improved performance.

As leaders, we need to establish and maintain the feedback loop to monitor and resolve misunderstandings, to iterate around users’ evolving needs, and to communicate team effort and progress. More specifically, our role is to assemble the technical and domain experts needed to realize the software solution, and leverage their knowledge such that the global team can take relevant decisions aligned with users’ needs and technical development capabilities. Above all, leaders should foster the collaborative spirit that makes the various development phases a worthwhile journey for all team members, building team pride which delivers better, more valuable solutions for end users.

Relevant opportunities for the feedback loop approach during digital development projects

Continuous improvement via the feedback loop approach is a valuable tool in your arsenal, both as a leader and for your team. Many processes are amenable to the deployment of a feedback loop approach:

  1. Sharing the same backlog view with key performance indicators that capture data and enable teams to act on lessons learnt,
  2. Regular requirement-gathering phases, either for definition or refinement, validation criteria definition or refinement, with lived and reviewed documentation for requirements and validation criteria,
  3. Internal meetings such as planning discussions, daily standups, retrospectives and debrief sessions, and progress updates,
  4. Global meetings with sprint planning, refinement sessions and demos with requirement iteration, development updates, validation phases and lessons learnt,
  5. The feedback loop should focus on spreading and amplifying technical and domain expert input, in order to provide the best solutions for our users.

Would you need more info on the application of feedback loop for your projects, please contact me at GMichaud@GM-Consult.it.

Feedback Loop, Cause and Effect, Project Management, Energy, Transition

Optimize your project success and delivery !

360° Energy and Environment Consultant

Geoscience & Monitoring Consulting (GMC) is delivering project management and digital solutions to guide innovative and technical leaders.

Feedback Loop, Cause and Effect, Project Management, Energy, Transition

Gwenola Michaud

360° Energy and Environment Consultant

20 years of expertise in managing people and projects, as well as developing, testing and delivering software solutions to improve team success and business growth.

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Coaching Energy Sector

Take Aways from the 3rd EAGE Global Energy Transition 2022 for the EAGE Coaching initiative


EAGE, GET2022, Coaching, Energy, Transition

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EAGE, GET2022, Coaching, Energy, Transition


EAGE, GET2022, Coaching, Energy, Transition

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EAGE, GET2022, Coaching, Energy, Transition

The 3rd EAGE Global Energy Transition took place from 7th to 9th November in The Hague. I had the chance to participate with Esther Bloem and Lucia Levato, in the organization of a workshop to provide some activity examples and an overview of the coaching program, “Navigating career challenges”.

Survey Results

Following EAGE 2022 in Madrid, where we presented first our initiative, a survey was conducted to grasp some insights on how some EAGE members can feel about career goals. The majority of the answers reveals that most members expect changes in their career in the next 5 years. In the meantime, they don’t particularly feel fully prepared to face these challenges on their own. The results also show clear needs to understand better strengths and values, to define next career move aligned with their strengths and values, and to understand how to maintain energy level and motivation. Developing opportunities and growth within the energy transition were also identified as a key point of interest.

Interest and Engaged Participation

About 60 people, about 25% of the conference attendance, have decided to stay and to participate actively to the workshop. Quickly the participants picked out a profile among the 9 proposed profiles (from Positive Intelligence by Shirzad Chamine) and created groups. They took then time to share some thoughts about their choice with some commonalities. We saw engagement, smiles and even heard some laughs.

Another activity was to fill a dashboard with satisfactory level for 4 areas in life, such as health, work, hobbies and family. Participants were asked to identify one challenge they would like to tackle. It is an easy exercise: we have always problems in our lives. Some issues stick with us for some times, some are popping up out of sudden, … Sometimes, we wish that one day, we will have no problem at all. However, in life is, there is a constant: Problems never stop. The goal is not not to have any problem, but it is to solve problems and to choose them. As solution to today’s problems are the foundations for tomorrow’s problems (Manson, 2016), let’s take the habit to enjoy the process: solving problems today to resolve better ones tomorrow.

Finally, using solution brainstorming, each participant in turn suggested one action to help a little bit in the resolution of the challenge. This exercise goal is toward the power of exposing and exchanging ideas, listening to others’ views in order to bounce many ideas, to call imagination and to find a better solution together than on our own.

The Coaching Program

The coaching program was presented as organized around 5 contents.

The 1st week starts with the context understanding to make a clear snapshot of the current status and to focus on the question who are you. Participants are asked to take a director position which means to take the decision power, along with full responsibility of actions and decisions. You have the right and power to decide.

On the 2nd content, the focus is on where we want to go with the clarification of our vision and strategy. By defining strategy and visions based on our own values, you are asked to take a leader position, who is defining a personal North pole or ultimate goal.

The 3rd content is on managing your career, balancing your resources including energy and action to answer the question how you want to go and to progress. You are asked to take a project manager position who understands how to plan and prioritize

based on time, resource and quality.

These first 3 contents are aligned with the idea of self-awareness and improvement taking full responsibility, setting goal and defining a plan.

After planning, what is usually happening? Often, we see the mismatch between the plan and the outcome. This is the time where we can face all types of misunderstanding, mistakes, errors and even feeling of failure or lack of success. This could be a phase high in emotions with some loss of motivation and even some discouragement. Through the interactions with others, we learn quicker and more efficiently. It gets clearer what we can do and what we could improve. Identifying challenges and setting the inspiration to overcome them, helps us in improving ourselves and our interactions with others. So, in the 4th content, the focus is on building the awareness of the quality of our interactions with others.

Finally, the last content is dedicated on adjusting and learning to improve what and how we do, by revising our strategy. We will see how to go further, how to synergize, through cooperation, opportunity seizing and even opportunity creation.

To summarize the course is organized in 5 contents to help in activating the spiral of being, learning, doing, and becoming as well as the cycle of adaptation, evolution, monitoring, resilience.

EAGE, GET2022, Coaching, Energy, Transition

Feedback & Actions

We receive encouraging and supportive feedback, which motivates us to go ahead, pushing this initiative further. In the future, we are considering using LessonUp app to get anonymous feedback in real time during our sessions.

Don’t hesitate to contact us, Esther Bloem, Lucia Levato or myself for any question or suggestion which could benefit the program and the EAGE community.

EAGE, GET2022, Coaching, Energy, Transition

Finally, we would like to thank the EAGE for the interest and support in this initiative.

EAGE, GET2022, Coaching, Energy, Transition

Optimize your project success and delivery !

360° Energy and Environment Consultant

Geoscience & Monitoring Consulting (GMC) is delivering project management and digital solutions to guide innovative and technical leaders.

EAGE, GET2022, Coaching, Energy, Transition

Gwenola Michaud

360° Energy and Environment Consultant

20 years of expertise in managing people and projects, as well as developing, testing and delivering software solutions to improve team success and business growth.

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Digitalization Energy Sector Environmental Sector

Lessons learnt from few hours at Gastech 2022 in Milan


Gastech, Milan, Energy

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Gastech, Milan, Energy


Gastech, Milan, Energy

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Gastech, Milan, Energy

Last month the 50th anniversary edition of Gastech took place in from 5th to 8th September in Milan, and I took the opportunity to spend a couple of hours on the exhibition floor. Conversations ranged from natural gas, hydrogen and low-carbon solutions, and were unsurprisingly preoccupied with the current environment. In view of the difficult geopolitical context and high energy prices, it was a key moment to be together and hopefully inspire collaborative action that provides coordinated solutions and responses for a fair, affordable, safe and sustainable energy for all. Hydrocarbons remain ever-present while we accelerate the transition towards the consumption of cleaner energy.

Digital solutions are needed to reach the right balance in data management and insight

To approach a greener and safer world, sharing and simplifying digital and data solutions will drive towards energy transition at an increased rate. Data management and insight remain high-priority topics for both exchange and action. Technical teams and decision makers strive to strike the right balance between too little and too much data. In some cases, data is locked within applications and difficult for team members to access when needed.

On the other hand, too much data presents its own problems; demanding additional time in management in order to extract insight and information. Managing data well allows analysts to better predict trends and monitor changes to help

decision makers to adapt according to the situation.

Good data and good digital or how to define it?

It was interesting to hear the term “good data” in association with “good digital”. This resonates when considering that in geophysics, we examine the distinction between signal and noise. Bearing in mind that noise is the part of the data we don’t yet understand, or we have categorized as not part of the signal of interest, the distinction of ”good data” versus noise throws into question the model and risks in being biased. And this notion is key when approaching research and solutions for digital solutions, where expertise and experience need to meet and work together.

Hydrogen and CCUS projects to develop further in Europe

Blue and green hydrogen is clearly on everyone’s radar. The current crisis will help push forward the use and adoption of hydrogen in Europe for sectors including refining, shipping and aviation. The RePowerEu plan has the potential to positively influence the evolution of the hydrogen economy while reducing Europe’s reliance on fossil fuels coming from Russia. In addition, Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage (CCUS) will play a role in managing emissions to achieve new zero goals. We should expect governments and the EU to fund programs that develop private sector hydrogen projects.

Gas storage in Europe has reached more than 90% of capacity

In the meantime, gas storage in Europe has reached more than 90% of full capacity, following one of the highest injection rates observed since 2011. One key uncertainty is how harsh the coming winter 2022-2023 will be and how this will influence storage inventories come spring and preparation for the following winter. Figure 1 is an illustration of the cycle of gas injection (light blue) and withdrawal (dark blue) over the past 10 years. The curves of injection and withdrawal cross in the spring around March-April and in autumn around October-November depending on the consumption rate.

Figure 1: Injection (light blue) and Withdrawal (blue) over the past 10 years – PowerBI dashboard with data from Gas Infrastructure Europe.

This year, the daily injection rate has been one of the highest rates observed over the last 10 years (Figure 2), reaching more than 80% of full capacity in September (Figure 3).

Gastech, Milan, Energy

Figure 2: Injection by month and year with a focus on 2022 – PowerBI dashboard with data from Gas Infrastructure Europe.

Gastech, Milan, Energy

Figure 3: Percentage of full over the last 10 years with a focus on 2022 – PowerBI dashboard with data from Gas Infrastructure Europe.

Usually, gas is stored during the summer, when gas prices are relatively low. As we all know this was not the case this year, as illustrated in Figure 4. Nonetheless, in spite of the elevated price of gas, the gas injection rate has been particularly high and steady.

Gastech, Milan, Energy

Figure 4: Gas Price in USD over the past 22 years – Data from Yahoo! Finance.

Relative to gas price, the recent reports from the news tend to focus on the evolution over the last 10 years. As a result, this year’s gas price seems to take unpreceded highs. However, when looking at the data over the last 20 years, gas has reached already several highs this century: during summer 2008, the second half of 2005, and winter 2000. So, the current gas price situation is only one of the many other we have experienced over the last 25 years. The difference this time is the backdrop of war in the east of Europe, the joint increase in electricity price and the urgency of transitioning towards greener, safer and more sustainable energy.

Gastech, Milan, Energy

Optimize your project success and delivery !

360° Energy and Environment Consultant

Geoscience & Monitoring Consulting (GMC) is delivering project management and digital solutions to guide innovative and technical leaders.

Gastech, Milan, Energy

Gwenola Michaud

360° Energy and Environment Consultant

20 years of expertise in managing people and projects, as well as developing, testing and delivering software solutions to improve team success and business growth.

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Data Analysis and Monitoring Energy Sector Project management

Trends in Gas Consumption and Storage in Europe


Gas storage, Subsurface storage, Energy transition

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Gas storage, Subsurface storage, Energy transition


Gas storage, Subsurface storage, Energy transition

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Gas storage, Subsurface storage, Energy transition

Major gas pipeline reopened after maintenance shutdown

Last July saw the return of natural gas flow through a major pipeline from Russia to Europe, following a 10-day shutdown for annual maintenance work. Seeing this supply restored was certainly a relief in the current geopolitical context in Eastern Europe. Nonetheless, across Europe, states and consumers are preparing to further reduce gas consumption. Gas represents about 20% of the European Union’s primary energy consumption and is the main source of domestic energy at 32%. Annual gas consumption entails €700 on average per year and household, constituting 2.5% of the average annual income of €27,911 in Europe. Ref. : www.acer.europa.eu.

Decrease of Energy Consumption in Europe over last 10 years

In this context, it is interesting to note that the energy consumption per capita in both Europe and North America has decreased since 2008 (Fig.1). This decrease was particularly conspicuous in 2020 during the pandemic of COVID-19, across all the regions. Conversely, the overall gas consumption worldwide is trending upward. We will see in the coming years if the downturn initiated during the pandemic endures.

Figure 1: Energy consumption in Gigajoule per capita per region (from bp Statistical Review of World Energy July 2021). Total CIS includes USSR, Georgia, Ukraine and the Baltic States, but excludes Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania prior to 1985 and Slovenia prior to 1990.

Decrease of Natural Gas Consumption in Europe

Regarding the consumption of natural gas, Europe has reduced its consumption since 2010, where it peaked at 22 exajoules (Fig. 2). In 2014, consumption reached its lowest level this century with 18 exajoules. Accordingly, continued reduction in gas consumption this year would follow a trend initiated more than ten years ago, and may yet decrease even further.

Figure 2: Gas consumption in Exajoules per capita per region against the left vertical axis and for the world against the right vertical axis (From bp Statistical Review of World Energy July 2021).

Rapid Gas Storage Injection Cycle in Europe This Year

In the current context, gas storage is particularly critical to servicing the gas demand during the winter months of 2022-2023. Gas storage follows a natural cycle with the seasons: Gas is injected into storage facilities from mid-April to early November when the demand for gas is low. On the other hand, gas is withdrawn from storage when the demand is higher with the arrival of winter in early November.

2022 sees no change to this cycle, with storage at its lowest level in April (Fig. 3). In fact, this year saw a particularly low storage level, ranging between 280 and 600 TWh, against the high level observed in 2020, measuring between 600 and 1000 TWh. Despite the low level in the first quarter of 2022, gas storage across Europe sits at 71% (at August 7th 2022), against last year where gas storage was just 59% in the same period. Should this trend hold steady gas storage should reach its highest level just prior to the end of September.