Interview with Robert Ward - Kuva Systems

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
What is your name, affiliation, and current role?

Robert Ward – VP, Business Development

What is your background? 

30 years in the oil & gas space, mostly around automation, SCADA, measurement, and process controls.

How did you become interested in innovation and new directions in the industry?

In 2016 I started WardBDC consulting to innovators who had a good product but uncertain how to penetrate the oil and gas market.  This is in fact how I met Kuva. After consulting to Kuva for almost two years, establishing a couple of anchor customers, and commercializing the offer I decided to join Kuva full time. Almost 4 years now.

Please describe a new technology or process that you are involved with.

The Kuva camera is unique that it is a) shortwave IR (not thermal), b) quite low cost, intended to scale across all sites, more so than as a temporary mobile solution. The Kuva camera pans around the site and looks for light missing from the air due to absorption by methane.  The camera colorizes and quantifies the emissions allowing the user to see the source of the leak.  By correlating the time stamp of the leak with process control data we enable the operators to determine the root cause of the leak, many times without visiting the site.

Who will benefit from this new technology?

Upstream and midstream operators, and of course society.

Where will the technology or process be in a year?  three years?  five years?

We continue to increase the amount of ML in the camera and in collaboration with our users are adding functionality so that emissions mitigation is integrated into workflows and is not seen as a disruptive effort. This will continue to increase the capability of the offer.

What makes you optimistic about the future?

We believe that operators want to produce as clean and efficiently as possible and believe we can help the industry be seen as a provider of clean, reliable energy.

Please recommend a book or two that you found insightful.

Dr. Seuss

About Robert Ward

Robert Ward
Robert Ward
A native of Texas, Robert has been part of the oil & gas industry for ~30 years, focusing on problem solving and various technology initiatives in the realm of measurement operations, production optimization, enterprise SCADA, telemetry, and connectivity. He spent over a decade where he pioneered the introduction and adoption of Control Microsystems’ SCADAPack as well as solutions from Accutech Wireless, Trio DataCom and ClearSCADA. Since 2016, Robert has been active in accelerating adoption of several newer technologies ranging from cellular based autonomous instruments to WiFi in hazardous areas to connected operator initiatives, Edge computing platforms, and expansive connectivity networks with integrated components that leverage LoRaWAN and LTE. Having consulted to Kuva Systems since Dec. 2020 and getting a feel for the potential of the offer, Robert joined Kuva full time in Oct. 2022 as Vice President of Business Development where he is now focused on helping Oil & Gas Operators attain their ESG goals with a low-cost methane imaging camera that provides visual evidence of the leak origin so it can quickly be repaired as well as emissions quantifications.

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