The Geopolitics of Oil and Energy - 4 April 2011
In April 2012 the Rustat Conferences held a one-day conference on the oil and energy sector. The conference discussed: peak oil, security of supply, clean energy and the role of government.
The current global energy system is unsustainable in its present form for a variety of reasons – population growth, development, economics and investment, and geopolitics. In the absence of immediate replacement technologies and clean energy forms that are scalable and affordable, there is a continued reliance on conventional sources of energy and related infrastructure. Against this background, the transformation of the energy outlook of a number of countries and regions - thanks to shale oil and gas, tar sand, tight oil and related technologies, breakthroughs in drilling, and rising global energy demand - is leading to a shift in some of the long-standing geopolitical relationships with implications not only for foreign and economic policies but also climate change and the environment.
This Rustat Conference addressed a range of these concerns in round-table sessions with expert speakers and participants drawn from academia, industry and government. The meeting was conducted under the Chatham House Rule.
1 Global Macroeconomic Outlook for Hydrocarbons. What are the major challenges and potential solutions to long-running problems? Will the gap between public and scientific opinion on climate change widen or narrow and what will this mean for regulation?
2 Role of Technology and Research. How will research and technological innovation affect the geopolitics of energy in the short, medium and long terms? What are the policy implications for government and industry?
3 Risk and Volatility for Producers, Transporters, Consumers and Investors. Current and future geopolitical scenarios in the Middle East, Mediterranean and beyond. What does this mean for UK business?
4 The Changing Role of Gas. What are the implications for energy planning, business and markets, consumers, the environment and geopolitics? Is the emergence of a ‘Gas OPEC’ inevitable? Will carbon capture and storage emerge as a viable solution?
5 Geopolitics, Security and Access to Scarce Resources. South China Sea, the Arctic, Venezuela and beyond. What are the implications for foreign policy in UK, EU, United States, China and Russia?
Speakers and Participants included:
Lord Oxburgh, former Chairman, Shell, and former Rector, Imperial College, London
Rosalind Kainyah, Vice President, External Affairs, Tullow Oil
Stuart Laing, former Ambassador to Kuwait, and former dep Ambassador to Saudi Arabia
Professor Andy Woods, Head, BP Institute, University of Cambridge
Professor Peter Williamson, Professor of International Business, Cambridge Judge Business School
Fergus Macleod, Group Head, Strategic Planning, BP
Professor James Crawford, Whewell Professor of International Law, University of Cambridge
Dr Shamil Midkhatovich Yenikeyeff, Research Fellow, Oxford Institute of Energy Studies
Tim Reilly, Co-founder, Arctic Advisory Group; and researcher, Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge
Richard Bridge, Head of Government & Political Affairs, BP
Dr Pierre Noël, Director, Energy Policy Forum, Judge Business School, University of Cambridge
Fred Pollack, Senior Analyst, Energy Security, NATO