Global Energy

  • BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2019

    On June 13, 2019, the Atlantic Council Global Energy Center hosted Spencer Dale, group chief economist of BP, for the launch of BP’s Statistical Review of World Energy 2019. Amb. Richard Morningstar, founding chairman of the Global Energy Center at the Atlantic Council, introduced Dale and remarked upon the importance of the Statistical Review as the industry “gold standard,” as well as the general interpretation of this year’s report as gloomy due to rising global energy demand and emissions.

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  • Nord Stream 2: From EU Law to US Sanctions Law

    Rainer Seele, the chief executive officer of Austrian energy company OMV and corporate ally of Gazprom, recently called on Europe to defend itself from the proposed US sanctions aimed to stop Nord Stream 2. It is far from clear to which ‘Europe’ Seele is referring. In December 2018, the European Parliament voted 433 to 105 in favour of a resolution calling for the construction of Nord Stream 2 to be cancelled. Furthermore, in February 2019, twenty-four of the twenty-eight member states were prepared to vote to extend the 2009 EU Gas Directive formally to import pipelines such as Nord Stream 2, creating uncertainty in the current


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  • Energy Governance and China’s Bid for Global Grid Integration

    Energy projects have always been a major part of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) infrastructure mega-plan for Eurasia. The enormity of that plan was on display at the BRI Forum last month, where an official report was released estimating that energy investments in BRI countries would add up to $27 trillion by 2050, with $7 trillion alone going to power grid construction, and over 200 million new jobs created in the process.

    That report was published by the Global Energy Interconnection Development and Cooperation Organization, or GEIDCO, a young “international organization” set up by the State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC, or “State Grid”) in 2016, under the leadership of its former chief executive, to advance “Global Energy Interconnection” or GEI.

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  • 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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  • Roundtable Discussion on Critical Minerals and Energy Security

    On May 2, The Atlantic Council Global Energy Center held a private roundtable discussion on rising global critical mineral demand and security concerns arising from a lack of US mineral independence. The event highlighted a growing concern for resource-based national security, with evolving risks and opportunities providing a dynamic geopolitical discussion.

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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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