Ricky Ehrgott is a former NASCAR driver turned energy technology company CEO. He heads up Rev1 Energy, a global business which has been supporting commissioning and startup efforts around the world since 2001. In order to find out about his transition into the oil and gas world and the challenges he faced, Rigzone sat down with the racing pro for a revealing Q&A.
Rigzone: What made you turn to oil and gas after a career in NASCAR?
Ehrgott: There are actually a lot of similarities with the two, as crazy as it sounds. Racing is a fast paced, high stakes sport that relies heavily on everyone doing his or her job perfectly in order to achieve success. The type of work we do, commissioning and startup, is very similar to that mind set. We- the commissioning and startup team- are the last group of people that touch the asset before it is started up and turned over to operations, so the stakes are extremely high. We all have to work as a team, communicate clearly, and make sure that even the smallest detail is checked before we can proceed. Most importantly, we all have to work as one to achieve success. Because of this, I was naturally drawn to the energy industry as a whole and when my father, who started Rev1 Energy back in 2001, was ready to take a step back I felt it was an opportunity that I would really enjoy growing into.
Rigzone: Was the transition to the oil and gas industry difficult?
Ehrgott: The learning curve was pretty steep. I had a strong working knowledge of the fundamentals but the immensity and complexity of the processes and technologies is mind boggling. There are incredibly intelligent people driving the oil and gas industry forward.
Rigzone: Is there anything the oil and gas industry can learn from NASCAR?
Ehrgott: There are definite similarities. I did allude to several in the first question, but one area which I think both are blazing a trail is in the development of new technologies. While it might not be directly evident, the oil and gas industry drives a tremendous amount of technologies that make our lives more convenient, safe and productive. Much in the same way, NASCAR, or racing in general, helps to drive safety and awareness in the production vehicle market as well. Many of the design aspects of the cars, and the tracks, are being looked at as features to implement on everyday cars and roadways. Telemetry is a common item on race cars and has been for years, but that technology has become ubiquitous on everyday passenger vehicles now as well. Most cars these days have more computing power than the Saturn 5 rocket. One thing I think the oil and gas industry can do a better job of is in the planning and execution of a job. As the last people on a project, we have the privilege of identifying and witnessing the result of a lack of communication through punch list items, components that were not engineered correctly and much more. Better communication and planning upfront will pay dividends- and save companies a ton of money- at the end of the project.
Rigzone: What exactly does Rev1 Energy do?
Ehrgott: Rev1 is an energy consultancy that helps large-scale energy projects run smoother via digitalization and an on-demand approach to operations readiness, commissioning and startup. Through its Commissioning on Demand and enterprise project management Tracker Technologies system, Rev1 modernizes companies’ workflows by providing proprietary technology, in-house talent, and commissioning teams to help projects run smoother. The company works with oil and gas majors, EPC’s, contractors, along with other companies across the energy spectrum.
Rigzone: What are your plans for the company in the future?
Ehrgott: We have an ambitious goal of being the preeminent commissioning consultancy in the world. Our organization is composed of some of the best and brightest minds in the field and our proprietary field-designed technology sets us apart from our competitors. We are focused on growth while maintaining the same family atmosphere that we have been known for since 2001.
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