With the energy industry facing huge challenges to meet the world’s future demands, the energy transition, along with energy security, affordability and sustainability, were hot topics at the 2022 AIEN International Energy Summit, which took place from 27-29 September in London
At the close of the event J. Scott Porter, 2022-2023 AIEN president; VP Acquisitions & Divestments and NBD – Shales, Deep Water & Global Exploration, Shell plc, reflected on the discussions and messages that had rung out throughout the event. Quoting Lenin, he said, “There are decades where nothing happens; and then there are weeks where decades happen.” With the energy industry facing huge challenges to meet the world’s future energy needs the energy transition and energy security, affordability and sustainability were hot topics at the summit.
In his closing remarks Porter said, “There has been tremendous energy at this year’s Summit, and it is great to see people from all over the world once again face-to-face and deeply involved in panel discussions and networking opportunities. The enthusiasm underlines the strengths of the AIEN, making connections among people who have interests in the commercial aspects of the energy world. There are still challenges to overcome and AIEN puts people together, who otherwise would not have such an opportunity, to exchange experiences and learn from each other to understand how to design the commercial structures that will work for the new energy system.”
Porter referred to the speech made by The Rt. Hon. Lord Robertson of Port Ellen KT, GCMG, honFRSE, PC, former NATO secretary general and UK defence secretary, who spoke about the global imperative of energy security and said, “We are living in the most perilous time of my generation. Issues have gone global, while politics have gone local – and that underpins so much of the challenges we see.”
Panels at the summit covered exploration, Africa’s energy future, energy transition and energy security and the role natural gas and hydrogen have to play. Other topics included carbon capture and storage, the future of financing for the energy industry and how the energy transition is affecting M&A strategy.
Porter referred to the African panel, which revealed some sobering facts: looking forward, 25-30% of the world’s population will be in Africa, and 60% of that population will have no electricity. He said, “Energy affordability will become more and more relevant, but energy security and the energy transition are also paramount.
“We have listened to discussions about how, of the world’s total energy supply, 81% is fossil fuels, yet we have halved investment in these since 2014. We face multiple challenges – technical and political, but also around core economics. As one of our speakers said: ‘Without energy security there is no energy transition, and without fossil fuels there is no energy security.’
“Many discussions have focussed on the transferrable technical and commercial skills within the traditional energy (oil & gas) industry. When we look at carbon capture as a technology or hydrogen as a new energy, for example, we need integration and integrated solutions. The technology is not new, the challenge is rolling it out at scale. Skills within the oil & gas industry can pull this off.”
Other comments from the panel discussions revolved around timescales for energy transition and its ‘long horizon’.
“Energy systems are complicated. Any effective transition is going to be complicated, and any end-state system is going to be complicated. The members of the AIEN have the experience needed to manage large, complicated projects; to allocate risks among partners, suppliers, customers and investors, and to design commercial solutions that will attract the funding we will need for the energy transition.
“We have a great purpose going forward to take us into the next energy system. We are a focussed group of professionals at the leading edge of solving the problems of the energy industry. Together we will work out how to get where we need to be,” concluded Porter.
The 2023 International Energy Summit will be held on 30 May – 1 June in Miami, Florida, USA.
Published at Fri, 30 Sep 2022 05:22:39 -0700