REVIEW: YP House of Commons Panel Discussion
The Oil and Gas Industry in an Unstable Geopolitical Climate
8th November 2017
Sir Edward Davey MP
Emma Wild, Head of Upstream Advisory Practice, KPMG
Jim Washer, Executive Editor, Energy Intelligence
Malcolm Brown, President, The Geological Society
The PESGB Young Professionals convened at the House of Commons for our annual Panel Discussion, the highlight of our events calendar; in a suitably impressive venue with all tickets sold. Given that current political circumstances appear increasingly uncertain, and events less predictable, our distinguished panel were invited to discuss “The Oil and Gas Industry in an Uncertain Geopolitical Climate”.
The discussion centred around a number of key geopolitical themes that could impact upon the oil and gas industry: OPEC, Saudi Arabia and China; the state of play in US shale; the UK in the context of Brexit; and the potential growth of renewables and Carbon capture and storage. After being welcomed by a drinks reception, Emma Wild (Head of Upstream Advisory Practice, KPMG) begun proceedings by focusing o
n the impact of geopolitics on mergers and acquisition activity and interestingly showed the UK in unexpected company when ranking countries by geopolitical risk. However, despite geopolitical risk increasing, deal flow continues to increase as a large number of buyers enter the UK market.
Jim Washer (Executive Editor, Energy Intelligence) subsequently gave a fascinating overview of the key global geopolitical issues and how they may impact the oil and gas industry. This included Saudi Arabia’s role in rising Middle Eastern tensions, the public listing of Saudi Aramco and the country’s post-oil economy; OPEC’s historical role as a force or stability versus current uncertainty over future policy; and US shale’s role in how the industry emerges from the downturn. Malcolm Brown (President, The Geological Society) begun with his perspective on geopolitical uncertainty and whether its current state is any different to 20-30 years ago. Malcolm then gave his thoughts on the future on renewable energy and the impact of electric vehicles on oil and gas demand, before focusing on Carbon capture and storage.
Our final speaker was Sir Edward Davey MP, a former Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change. His talk put the energy industry in the context of Brexit, and put forward a vision for Carbon capture and storage.
The speeches were followed by audience participation in a Q&A session. Questions covered a wide range of topics, including; the future of Carbon capture and storage, the outlook for frontier exploration on the UKCS, and how to quantify geopolitical risk. The discussion then continued enthusiastically over canapes and refreshments.
The PESGB Young Professionals Committee thanks the panel and the audience for their participation, without which the event would not have been such a success. In addition, we thank the PESGB for its continued support of the Young Professionals and Nexen for their 2017 sponsorship. The discussion provided an excellent learning and networking opportunity, befitting of our showcase event, and the Committee aims to build on this success for next year’s event.