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

Video Positive Messaging Helps Revamp Ethiopia's Image

In country once connected with war, poverty, famine, headlines now focus on fast-growing economy, diplomatic reputation More

Russian Activist Thinks Kremlin Ordered Nemtsov's Death

Alexei Navalny says comments of Russian liberals who think government wasn't involved are 'nonsense.' More

Video Land Disputes Rise Amid Uganda Oil Boom

Investors appear to be cashing in by selling parcels of land to multiple buyers 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.
Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Imagei
X
Marthe van der Wolf
March 03, 2015 9:03 PM
Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Cyber War Rages Between Iran, US

A newly published report indicates Iran and the United States have increased their cyber attacks on each other, even as their top diplomats are working toward an agreement to guarantee Iran does not develop a nuclear weapon and to free Iran from international sanctions. The development is part of a growing global trend. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.
Video

Video Land Disputes Arise Amid Uganda Oil Boom

Ugandan police say there has been a sharp increase in land disputes, with 10 new cases being reported each day. The claims come amid an oil boom as investors appear to be cashing in by selling parcels of land to multiple buyers. Meanwhile, the people who have been living on the land for decades are chased away, sometimes with a heavy hand. VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
Video

Video In Russia, Many Doubt Opposition Leader's Killer Will Be Found

The funeral has been held in Moscow for Boris Nemtsov, the opposition leader who was assassinated late Friday just meters from the Kremlin. Nemtsov joins a growing list of outspoken critics of Russia under the leadership of President Vladimir Putin who are believed to have been murdered for their work. VOA’s Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Simulated Astronauts Get Taste of Mars, in Hawaii

For generations, people have dreamed of traveling to Mars to explore Earth's closest planetary neighbor. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports that while space agencies like NASA are planning manned missions to the planet, some volunteers in Hawaii are learning how humans will cope with months in isolation on a Mars base.
Video

Video Destruction of Iraq Artifacts Shocks Archaeologists

The city of Mosul was once one of the most culturally rich and religiously diverse cities in Iraq. That tradition is under attack by members of the Islamic State who have made Mosul their capital city. The Mosul Museum is the latest target of the group’s campaign of terror and destruction, and is of grave concern to archaeologists around the world. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Smartphones May Help in Diagnosing HIV

Diagnosing infections such as HIV requires expensive clinical tests, making the procedure too costly for many poor patients or those living in remote areas. But a new technology called lab-on-a-chip may make the tests more accessible to many. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials have expressed concern over reports of a crackdown on Afghan refugees in Pakistan following the Peshawar school attack in December. Reports of mass arrests and police harassment coupled with fear of an uncertain future are making life difficult for a population that fled its homeland to escape war. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports from Islamabad.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Prepare to Defend Mariupol

Despite the ongoing ceasefire in Ukraine, soldiers in the city of Mariupol fear that pro-Russian separatists may be getting ready to attack. The separatists must take or encircle the city if they wish to gain land access to Crimea, which was annexed by Russia early last year. But Ukrainian forces, many of them volunteers, say they are determined to defend it. Patrick Wells reports from Mariupol.
Video

Video Moscow Restaurants Suffer in Bad Economy, Look for Opportunity

As low oil prices and Western sanctions force Russia's economy into recession, thousands of Moscow restaurants are expected to close their doors. Restaurant owners face rents tied to foreign currency, while rising food prices mean Russians are spending less when they dine out. One entrepreneur in Moscow has started a dinner kit delivery service for those who want to cook at home to save money but not skimp on quality. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Presidential Hopefuls Battle for Conservative Hearts and Minds

One after another, presumptive Republican presidential contenders auditioned for conservative support this week at the Conservative Political Action Conference held outside Washington. The rhetoric was tough as a large field of potential candidates tried to woo conservative support with red-meat attacks on President Barack Obama and Democrats in Congress. VOA Political Columnist Jim Malone takes a look.
Video

Video Southern US Cities Preserve Civil Rights Heritage to Boost Tourism

There has been a surge of interest in the American civil rights movement of the 1950s and '60s, thanks in part to the Hollywood motion picture "Selma." Five decades later, communities in the South are embracing the dark chapters of their past with hopes of luring tourism dollars. VOA's Chris Simkins reports.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.8954
JPY
USD
119.75
GBP
USD
0.6515
CAD
USD
1.2518
INR
USD
61.921

Rates may not be current.