Dean Oskvig

Global natural gas demand is expected to steadily increase in the coming decades as developing economies continue growing and the West uses more of the fuel. Established energy trade patterns are also expected to shift eastward to emerging market demand centers as more gas is produced in the western hemisphere. Business activity at one of the world’s major engineering firms appears to be evolving in step with these emerging energy market trends.

“The best way to get $8 [natural] gas is to act like it’s going to be $3,” Dean Oskvig, President and CEO of Black & Veatch’s energy business recently told Breaking Energy. Increasing US unconventional gas reserves and output, which have kept US prices below historical norms, could in spur consumption and shift supply/demand fundamentals so that prices rapidly increase. The threat remains unrealized for now, with natural gas prices still near historic lows. Keep reading →

The greatest roadblock to developing smart grids in the US is not high up-front investment, good news when 65 million electric vehicles could be on the road by 2025, according to the results of a recent annual electric utility industry survey. Infrastructure firm Black & Veatch queried over 500 qualified industry participants about some of the most prescient issues of the day and the results may surprise you.

The top issues the industry is concerned about in 2012 are aging infrastructure, reliability and the environment. Aging infrastructure steadily crept to the top of the list over the past three years – in the 2009/2010 survey the issue ranked sixth in a list of the top ten. The importance of security has also gained importance according to the survey participants. Keep reading →

While natural gas is the hot topic in North American energy, many other parts of the world – particularly developing countries – are adding more coal-fired power generation capacity and consuming more of the black fossil fuel.

Speaking at the annual conference of the American Society of Public Administrators (ASPA) held March 5th in Las Vegas, Dean Oskvig, President and CEO of Black & Veatch’s Global Energy Business, made the point that B&V is not aligned with any single energy source and the company designs and builds all kinds of energy infrastructure. Keep reading →

Growing consensus that infrastructure investment might be a solution for a host of US problems, most centrally widespread unemployment, is raising the profile of firms that specialize in the sector.

Black & Veatch is a big player in infrastructure, ranging across consulting, design and building for projects that include energy plays like electricity and oil and gas, smart grid projects, water and public sector work. The firm is at the center of the latest hot area in the economy, working with giants like Siemens and GE to serve the country’s highest-profile companies and municipalities. Keep reading →