Global Energy

  • A Conversation with Patrick Pouyanné, Chairman and CEO, Total S.A.

    On May 16, 2019, the Atlantic Council Global Energy Center welcomed Patrick Pouyanné, chief executive officer and chairman of Total, for a public discussion on global energy market trends and Total’s new low-carbon energy strategy. Fred Kempe, president and chief executive officer of the Atlantic Council, delivered introductory remarks, underscoring Total’s interest in becoming a responsible and transparent hydrocarbon giant. This event marked Pouyanné’s first official visit to Atlantic Council headquarters.


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  • New Energy Technologies Will Amplify, Not Obviate, the Need for Policy Frameworks

    The role of new energy technologies to meet future energy demand was a focal point during the Atlantic Council Global Energy Forum (ACGEF) in Abu Dhabi. Meeting the increasing demand for energy usually raises concerns about international climate objectives. While new energy technologies promise a pathway to meet this increasing demand without sacrificing emission reduction targets, ultimately, policymakers will need to provide the frameworks necessary to harness these technologies, so as to deliver on sustainability goals.


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  • Saudi Aramco Bond Offering: What Does It Say About the Kingdom and Oil Markets?

    At the start of the month, in preparation for its first bond offering, Saudi Aramco released a 469-page prospectus that provided the first real public look into the oil company’s books. The media was astounded by the $111 billion profit figure for 2018, and a bond market hungry for returns oversubscribed to the offering by ten times, with $12 billion in bonds finally issued. The initial enthusiasm said more about the state of the bond market than the value of Aramco and is not a good proxy for equity interest in the company ahead of an IPO (now delayed until 2021).


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  • Gas Directive: Overly Burdensome Regulation of the EU Gas Market?

    On 15 April, the Council of the European Union (EU) backed acontroversial revision of the EU Gas Directive, which was already adopted at a plenary session of the European Parliament in Brussels on 4 April. This adoption by the Council is the last step in the legislative initiative. However, the story began in November 2017, when the European Commission (EC) took “steps to extend common EU gas rules to import pipelines,” proposing an amendment of the current Gas Directive to ensure “that the core principles of EU energy legislation (third-party access, tariff regulation, ownership unbundling and transparency) will apply to all gas pipelines to and from third countries up to the border of the EU’s jurisdiction.”


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  • Implications of the Russia Sanctions Legislation on the Energy Sector

    On April 17, the Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center and Global Business & Economics Program hosted an event on the implications of Russia sanctions legislation on the energy sector. Moderated by Amb. Richard Morningstar, the Atlantic Council Global Energy Center’s founding chairman, the event featured a timely and informative discussion on the status and substance of the latest US Russia sanctions legislation, how companies mitigate risks incurred by present and future US Russia sanctions legislation, and the effect of sanctions on US-European Union (EU) relations, and transatlantic cooperation more broadly. The conversation focused on two newly reintroduced bills in the US Congress: The Defending American Security from Kremlin Aggression Act (DASKAA) and the Defending Elections from Threats by Establishing Redlines Act (DETER Act.).


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  • The LNG Moment: How US Production Could Change More than Just Markets

    Adapted from comments given by The Honorable Paula Stern, Ph.D. at the Atlantic Council IN TURKEY Program's “New Regional Gas Market Dynamics under LNG Expansion & the Shale Gas Revolution” conference on February 26, 2019, with contributions from Ben Perkins.

    Last March the Economist ran the headline, “Global powers need to take the geopolitics out of energy.” It may be true that World Trade Organization (WTO) rules, and those of its Generalized System of Tariffs and Trade (GATT) predecessor, have never applied to trade in energy, but energy has always played a starring geopolitical role and probably always will.


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  • The Clean Energy Innovation Trap: Climate Policy is Still Essential

    While serving as Franklin D. Roosevelt’s director of the US Office of Scientific Research and Development in 1944, Vannevar Bush wrote: “Basic research is the pacemaker for technological progress.” He championed the idea of a sequential relationship between government-funded research and development (R&D) and innovation. In his view, the government provides funding for basic research, and innovation and technological progress follow naturally.


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  • Why the Massive Floating Bomb in the Red Sea Needs Urgent Attention

    A floating storage and offloading (FSO) terminal less than five miles off the coast of Yemen has turned into a massive bomb—capable of explosion due to its contents and lack of maintenance. The risk of explosion increases by the day, and if that were to happen, not only would it damage or sink any ships in the vicinity, but it would create an environmental crisis roughly four and a half times the size of the Exxon Valdez oil spill.


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  • Addressing the Invisible Supply Chain

    This post is the third in a series of three that focuses on 1) defining, 2) mapping, and 3) addressing the invisible supply chain. You can read the first and second posts here. 

    Criminals have the advantage of being agile. They are unencumbered by the constraints that impede the governments and institutions arrayed against them. A criminal network operating an invisible supply chain can, when challenged, often disassemble that supply chain and reassemble a new one overnight. Accustomed to finding the path of least resistance around the law, successful criminals tend to maintain a nimble footing, ready to make rapid adjustments in pursuit of continued profits.


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  • Black Sea Natural Gas Games: A Fork in the Road for the BRUA Pipeline Project

    Hopes were riding high on the discovery of Romania’s Black Sea natural gas deposits in 2012, which were expected to provide a cheap and local source of the fuel for Central and South Eastern Europe (CSEE). ExxonMobil and OMV Petrom would carry out the offshore production, and the Bulgaria-Romania-Hungary-Austria (BRUA) pipeline project, formally conceived in 2016, would deliver 4.4 billion cubic meters per year to the preeminent regional hub located in Baumgarten, Austria. The European Commission prioritized BRUA and made European Union (EU) funding available for it, given its contribution to regional energy security, market integration, and competition. Furthermore, the project had also been meant to incentivize Romania and Bulgaria to speed up market liberalization efforts.


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