NEWS

/ News
May 25, 2018

Transformations in the Energy Sector

KEY CONCLUSIONS

Oil prices grow while reserves reduce

“Year over year, the situation has changed dramatically: during the previous St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, oil price was USD 51.5, while today it is about USD 78, showing growth by almost 1.5 times. A year ago, the reserves exceeded the average five-year value by 23 million barrels. Today they are at zero level and even estimated to be 20 million barrels less,” Alexander Novak, Minister of Energy of the Russian Federation.

Agreements among producers on output limits have a positive effect on the market

“The market develops in a dynamic way. Taking into account influential political events, as producers we try to influence the market with our collective decisions, which has proved quite successful after the discussion with the Russian partners,” Khalid A. Al-Falih, Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources of Saudi Arabia, Chairman of Saudi Aramco.

“We have now achieved a new phase in the development of our organization, especially in the partnership with non-OPEC countries. <…> There is no doubt that not only OPEC members, but also other countries commit to agreements. Two days ago we could see that all participants confirmed their commitment to these agreements, which is a high level of commitment,” H.E. Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, Secretary General, Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

“I think that the most important lesson is that the price matters. When the price is low, we see one scenario, when the price is high it’s a different one. The prices reached this range quite fast. The reason is that the market is returning to balance, while a number of events are unfolding in the world,” Daniel Yergin, Vice Chairman, IHS Markit.

Volatility of oil prices calls for a careful approach to investment solutions

“Oil price can vary between $30 and $100, but in any case we need a flexible strategy and reliable balances. From the viewpoint of investment solutions, you cannot calculate oil prices for the coming 10-20 years. You are going to fail. We try to make our investments safe by favouring the projects with a lower break-even cost as well as more profitable projects,” Ben van Beurden, Chief Executive Officer, Royal Dutch Shell Plc.

Competition among different types of energy resources will be growing

“Today it’s still oil that prevails, the second place is taken by coal, and the third by gas. Renewable energy resources take quite a small share. By 2040, it is going to be balanced with all 4 components taking 25%. At the same time, general energy consumption in the world will grow by 30%. <…> Oil consumption will grow from 10 to 14 million barrels per day,” Alexander Novak.

“Economic development without energy is impossible. <…> We discussed the issues of the transition period in the energy sector. This transition is gaining speed at the moment. At the same time technologies allow for the development of various hydrocarbon supplies – oil and gas,” John Defterios, Emerging Markets Editor, CNN.

PROBLEMS

Sanctions are the main factor restricting investments

“Total is a global company and we were considering potential investments in Iran on condition that the USA do not introduce secondary sanctions. If sanctions occur, we understand that the company like Total cannot risk and lose access to American financial system and markets,” Patrick Pouyanné, President, Chairman of the Board, Total.

“I’m not so worried about the level of investments into the industry, because roughly it comes down to the same activity level as at $100 per barrel. We should not be so worried about the decrease in investments, because we save a lot and produce more capital per specific number of dollars. Sanctions are certainly a problem, but as Mr. Pouyanné said we have to observe these rules and norms that change so fast,” Robert Dudley, Group Chief Executive, BP.

“Sanctions have a great impact. We just cannot ignore them. We cannot work in a place where sanctions prohibit us to work,” Ben van Beurden.

Growing prices negatively affect demand

“We believe that the demand will weaken this year due to the prices. It is going to be a bit weaker globally. The price is important both economically and politically,” Daniel Yergin.

SOLUTIONS

Creating conditions for investing in industry

“Priorities for the country development and national goals were stated in the Address of the President of the RF <…>, clearly indicating the need in a technological breakthrough, modernizing all economic sectors, and increasing GDP by 1.5 per citizen. <…> Energy sector development is also a priority. It means that first and foremost we have to provide reliable and accessible supply of energy resources in the domestic market, as well as preserve a leading position at international markets. To this end, the following tasks should be implemented: continue creating incentives to attract investments, create stimuli and stable taxation system,” Alexander Novak.

“Stability is a good thing, since it is hard to control the market based only on the price. <…> The question is what kind of investments are needed. We have reduced the investments during the last 3 years in order to improve our own balances. Another question concerns the pace we should resume production with. Transparency and stability are key factors here as well,” Patrick Pouyanné.

Taking into account consumer interest

“We have to understand the situation of the consumers. They should be the focus of our attention. Among other things, changes in the market were caused by the lack of investments into the energy sector, when the consumers were not considered as the main goal undergoing volatility and price shock. In 2016–2017, consumer interests were above everything else for us, and so they are today,” Khalid A. Al-Falih.

“We want stability to be sustainable in the long run. <…> Currently we work with the industry, with all interested parties including consumers and international organizations. We care not only about ourselves; we also care about the consumers, who purchase our product. We want oil to remain the major energy source in the future,” Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo.

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