David Ernsberger is global head of pricing and market insight S&P Global Platts, where he manages a team of reporters and analysts that cover the full range of energy and other commodity markets around the globe. His team produces price benchmarks used to settle the value of physical and futures contracts, and market-leading insight into why markets are moving and what might happen next.
In this week’s “My Career in Energy,” David shares thoughts on where he thinks the energy industry is headed, what he might do differently if he could go back a decade, and what excites him about his job today.
What is the first thing you do when you start work in the morning?
Inevitably, I must check my email, WhatsApp and text messages to be sure there aren’t any emergencies anywhere that I need to jump into. All being well, and it usually is, I spend no more than 20 minutes or so cleaning up emails before turning to look through news sources, many of our own but also general news. In my job, the day moves very quickly indeed from the Asia markets close to the U.S. close, and so I try to prioritize getting up to speed on what is going on in the world before grabbing another coffee and taking my first call.
How do you relax?
I listen to a lot of podcasts while being sure I walk at least 10,000 steps a day. I usually try and match the intensity of the podcast to the mental energy I have when I’m out and about. I’m not too proud to savor some light listening like a soccer or a gaming podcast, and I enjoy deep markets expertise podcasts when the mood hits.
What do you think the energy industry will look like in 10 years?
Without a doubt the energy industry will have made massive progress toward embracing more sustainable energy solutions. The only question in my mind is how much more of our energy will come from new energy solutions like hydrogen, not whether we will have made.
What book has helped you most at work?
Early on in my career I picked up “The Prize” by Daniel Yergin, and it’s still the book I think of most often as I’m doing my work. It’s one of the very best examinations of how the oil industry evolved, which is essential for understanding not only the oil market itself, but also the blueprint for almost every other commodity market that exists today. As it happens, Daniel Yergin will be joining my organization through a merger that is ongoing right now, and I’m looking forward to working with him more closely in the future — it will be a big honor.
If you could travel back in time 10 years, would you do anything differently?
I have completely changed my lifestyle during lockdown — I exercise a lot more, have a better diet, and spend more time with friends and family. I would absolutely start doing that right away if I went back to 2011, now that I know how much better I feel at work because I have a more balanced lifestyle — and also how long it takes to get fit.
What excites you about your job?
Almost every day I speak to people from all around the globe — whether it’s a member of our own team in Platts, or someone active in the commodities markets from Asia to North America, and everywhere in between. I get huge enjoyment from meeting and talking to people from every part of the world as a big part of just doing my job.
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