Talks and speeches

Gastech Global Leaders Panel

Peter Clarke
Senior Vice President, ExxonMobil Upstream Oil & Gas Company
Gastech Global Leaders Panel
Gastech 2018 Barcelona
September 17, 2018
Barcelona, Spain

“Examining the Transitional Impacts of the New Energy Landscape on the Gas Industry”

Thanks, Steve [Sedgwick, CNBC Anchor]. It’s a real pleasure to be part of such a distinguished group.

My fellow panelists have already touched on some key themes … I’d like to focus my remarks on embracing disruption.

The reality is that the energy landscape is always shifting. Nothing stands still … not markets and not the global energy mix.

We are in a time of profound transition. After seeing a global market for LNG take shape over the past several decades … we now observe that world being reordered.

The remarkable increase in North American gas resources has transformed the global supply environment. Similarly, the business of selling and delivering gas to customers is changing … with more spot trading, greater liquidity, increased competition, and more buyers as well as sellers.

In an industry that has long prized stability, the watchword going forward is volatility.

From our view at ExxonMobil, we see great promise in the changing landscape. In fact we quite like how this new world is shaping up … because we are uniquely positioned to meet our customers evolving needs in this increasingly open and dynamic marketplace.

Our bullishness comes in part from the fact that we’ve been in this market for some time … as a pioneer of the industry at Arun in Indonesia from the 1970s … and working in partnership with Qatar Petroleum over the past two-and-a-half decades to develop and build the largest trains and largest tankers.

We’re also informed by a global view … through our affiliates and LNG joint ventures, we deliver LNG to customers in more than 30 countries and have a presence in every key market, including here in Europe, where we have reliably supplied the region for decades through LNG terminals and pipeline networks. Recently we enhanced our leading LNG position with exploration success and targeted acquisitions in Papua New Guinea and Mozambique that provide a platform for tremendous growth.

We understand that as the gas market becomes more and more dynamic the value of strong partnerships and a truly global footprint – which enables intrinsic flexibility to source and deliver product – will only increase. Successful producers and suppliers will meet the dynamism of the market with a robust and flexible portfolio, creative commercial offers, an ongoing focus on technology and efficiency, and an absolute commitment to deep, mutually beneficial partnerships.

Let’s not forget that our contributions to the world’s energy markets are increasingly vital to energy access and economic development. If the 19th century belonged to coal … and oil defined the 20th century … we are already seeing how natural gas is shaping the 21st.

It’s not surprising that global demand for natural gas is projected to grow even faster than overall demand for energy in the decades to come.

Natural gas checks all the boxes when weighing the socio-economic and environmental benefits of different energy sources.

It is abundant … versatile … available at scale … and a cleaner-burning energy source, which is increasingly a fuel of choice for homes, businesses and large-scale electricity generation. Compared to coal, it produces far fewer emissions of pollutants and greenhouse gases when used to provide power the world’s growing population.

And as the energy mix itself changes, natural gas is not just an ideal source of base load power… it is the clear partner to supplement intermittent renewables such as solar or wind, ensuring reliable power when renewables may not be available at scale. This can benefit the broader penetration of renewables into the energy mix. Coupled with new technologies such as carbon capture and storage, natural gas has a long-term future in a low-carbon environment.

In the midst of a variable energy outlook and dynamic marketplace, we’re excited about the critical role natural gas will continue to play in powering the world economy and fueling its growth.

And we’re tremendously excited about the role of ExxonMobil – in partnership with many here today – in seeing that story play out.

Peter Clarke