News / Economy

Oil Conference Discusses Price, Higher Demand

BP CEO Robert Dudley speaks to reporters at the IHS-CERA oil conference in Houston, Texas, March 9, 2011.
BP CEO Robert Dudley speaks to reporters at the IHS-CERA oil conference in Houston, Texas, March 9, 2011.
Greg Flakus

More than 2,000 representatives of world oil and gas companies, academics and industry experts are in Houston this week for the 30th annual conference sponsored by Cambridge Energy Research Associates, or IHS-CERA. With prices rising, partly in response to unrest in North Africa and the Middle East, discussions have centered on maintaining supply and expanding production, while also avoiding accidents like last year's spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Talk at this year's CERA WEEK conference has centered on two topics - the rapid rise of the price of crude oil and the need to venture into ever more challenging environments in order to keep up with world demand.

The risks involved became glaringly apparent to the world last year when a platform operated by BP in the Gulf of Mexico exploded and then leaked nearly five million barrels of crude oil into the water.

BP CEO Robert Dudley, making his first appearance at an international industry event since last year's accident,  stressed his London-based company's commitment to compensating those harmed by the spill in US Gulf Coast states. He told reporters BP has learned to manage risk much more carefully.

“We have begun to look at what is the very, very low probability but high consequence risks that in the past we may not have thought through and that has changed our view of everything we do," he said.

Dudley says BP now has measures in place to deal with a well blowout, whether on land or deep water, anywhere in the world. “We will not drill a well unless we have the ability to cap the well - we have the equipment and we have the people to do it and we have an emergency response organization in place," he said.

Dudley says the energy industry as a whole needs to develop such safety measures as companies venture into ever-more risky environments. BP is currently working with a Russian company to develop a project in the Arctic and owns the majority stake in the first deep-water operation in the Gulf of Mexico to receive a permit since last year's accident.

The BP CEO stressed the need to produce more petroleum in the next two decades, as world demand is expected to grow by 40 percent.

The current price for crude oil is well above $100 a barrel, partly because of unrest in the North Africa-Middle East region that produces 40 percent of the world's supply.

Robert Dudley says he is maintaining a cautious attitude about the current situation. “We are going to watch it very carefully. Having been through three up-and-down cycles in my career, you do not want to draw any conclusions too quickly," he said.

Representatives from North Africa and the Middle East attending the conference say unrest is likely to continue and could spread, but the impact on oil production is harder to gauge.

The chairman of IHS-CERA, Daniel Yergin, says the International Energy Agency's Emergency Response Program can handle any significant short-term disruptions. “We have a well-worked out emergency system that grew out of the 1970s, the whole purpose of which is to deal with disruption and it provides a kind of coordination and collaboration among consumers and to have the emergency machinery in place," he said.

So far there has been no shortage in world production and the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries is considering a special meeting to study an output increase, if it becomes necessary.

But even if stability returns to Libya and other nations in that area, growing demand in developing nations like India and China will put pressure on energy companies to find and produce more oil in the years ahead.

You May Like

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Obesity Poses Complex Problem

Professor warns of obesity’s worldwide health impact More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam Wari
X
Katherine Gypson
May 25, 2015 1:32 AM
For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.

VOA Blogs

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.9109
JPY
USD
121.50
GBP
USD
0.6467
CAD
USD
1.2293
INR
USD
63.559

Rates may not be current.