Department of Energy

“Digitalization and Automation in the Oil and Gas Industry – Challenges and Opportunities” Conference in Tel Aviv, Israel

June 24, 2019

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Remarks As Prepared for Deputy Secretary Brouillette

Thank you for that kind introduction.

It’s a true pleasure to be here in Tel Aviv, and to have the opportunity to speak with all of you today about the U.S. Department of Energy.

This event provides a unique opportunity for members of the American, Israeli, and other governments who are represented here today, as well as those from the private sector, to exchange ideas and foster deeper partnerships and engagement as we address our mutual challenges and make progress in the world of cyber and innovation.

As the government agency responsible for cybersecurity in the United States’ energy sector, the Department of Energy is on the front lines of the battle to protect our nation’s energy infrastructure.

Strengthening our national security by protecting the grid…investing in cyber research and development…deploying innovative energy technologies…are foundational to DOE’s mission.

But as Secretary Perry is fond of saying…DOE could really stand for the Department of Everything, so vast is our scope, and our ability to impact so many facets of modern life.

In order to appreciate how innovations and progress with cyber and cyber security are unfolding, it’s critical to understand how it fits in to the broader landscape of American energy and DOE’s work.

This is an exciting time for energy. Indeed, thanks to a cascade of innovative breakthroughs, we are now in the dawn of a New American Energy Era…an era in which the world enjoys vastly improved energy choice…and in which we are able to embrace new and smarter ways to reach our energy and our environmental goals.

Today, the United States is the number-one oil and natural gas producer in the world.

Between now and 2025, we will contribute an estimated one-half of the world’s growth in oil and gas production.

And by embracing a true all-of-the-above energy approach – one which includes fossil fuels alongside nuclear and renewables – we aren’t driving down fuels that produce emissions, we are driving down emissions while producing those same fuels.

In fact, while breaking oil and gas production records, we have also led the world in reducing energy-related carbon emissions.

Today, our bounty is so plentiful that we have more than enough energy to share with the world.

We export liquefied natural gas to 36 countries spanning five continents. And last year, U.S. coal exports had their second best year ever.

We anticipate becoming a net energy exporter next year…and for the next 30 years.

Our energy abundance is – and will continue to be – deployed to support our friends’ and trading partners’ energy security…so they are better equipped to chart their own energy futures, protect their sovereignty, and provide greater prosperity for their people.

And we offer not just our abundant energy, but the expertise and know-how that helped us unleash it in the first place.

It’s a privilege and a responsibility that we hold sacred…and the ability to play such a role on the global stage is not one that we take lightly or for granted.

After all, we haven’t always been in this position.

As recently as a decade ago, so-called energy experts foretold a future of energy scarcity…of increased reliance on foreign imports…and draconian regulations to ration out a limited fuel supply.

So, how did the United States transition to a time of unprecedented energy wealth?

Simply put: the perseverance of innovation.

Our public and private sectors leveraged their unique capabilities to build upon one another’s successes and unlock a potential that few could have imagined.

What has become an oil and gas revolution can be directly traced back to breakthroughs in hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling technology borne out of research carried out by the federal government…particularly in our National Laboratories.

And the scalability, results, and commercial success of that technology would not have been possible without the investment and commitment of our private sector.

It’s a story that captures the heart of DOE’s approach to its mission – making the investments and providing the capabilities that support innovation and entrepreneurship, and working with the best and brightest to think big, and then bring those big ideas to fruition.

Today, we are taking this same approach as we keep finding and developing ways to enhance the efficiency of our nation’s oil and gas use and production.

We’re leveraging capabilities in big data and machine learning to increase oil and gas yields. New applications may be able to process and interpret complex data streams in real time to enhance on-the-ground decision making – and increase the lifespan of wells.

And when it comes to midstream resource delivery, we’re pursuing data science and management tools to improve reliability, and reduce loss from natural gas gathering, transmission, distribution, and storage facilities. 

At the same time, we’re focusing on modernizing our nation’s power grid to meet evolving consumer needs and support growing demand for technologies like solar, wind, storage, and electric vehicles while keeping our grid resilient, secure, and affordable.

Our portfolio of work will help to better integrate all sources of energy, improve the security of our nation's grid, solve challenges of energy storage and distributed generation, and provide a crucial platform for U.S. competitiveness and innovation in a global energy economy.

This carries over into the realm of cybersecurity as we consider how to protect an evolving critical infrastructure from emerging threats.

After all, strengthening our cybersecurity, and protecting our critical infrastructure, represent a top priority for us at DOE, and for the Trump administration as a whole.

We are committed to strong, reliable, and secure energy infrastructure.

And we are seeking solutions that can be applied hyper-locally, as well as globally.

As you know, energy supply and distribution relies on infrastructure that is increasingly vulnerable to cyber-attacks.

So, in addition to pipelines, we are also focused on ensuring access to a diverse array of fuel sources that enhance our resiliency.

Fuel-secure units are retiring at an alarming rate. Left unchecked, this will threaten our ability to recover from attacks and natural disasters.

That’s why one of DOE’s foremost priorities is stopping the loss of these critical resources.

We firmly believe that success on this front will not happen in a vacuum, but rather from leveraging our collective expertise, experience, and resources.

That includes collaborating with our friends and allies, which is why we value our partnership with Israel on so many of these important issues and initiatives.

Our recently announced U.S.-Israel Center of Excellence in Energy, Engineering and Water Technology will foster a continued dialogue and partnership between our nations focused on fossil energy, energy storage, cybersecurity, and the energy-water nexus.

This work indicates how our two countries are made stronger, more secure, and better prepared when we engage one another transparently and collaboratively.

The challenges we face in today’s landscape are formidable, and the stakes are high, but I am confident that together we are positioned for continued success, and that our shared goal to ensure a brighter, safer, and more prosperous future for our people will be achieved.

Thank you.