Special Sessions Wednesday

Session overview:

During the past decade, the price of oil has moved from USD 60 per barrel to a peak of USD 146 in 2009 and subsequently descended again to below USD 50 in 2016. While oil is sold in a global market, the effect of rising or falling prices can be very different for importing and exporting countries.

The oil market has long been a volatile one. The oil price drop has likely been a net negative for the wider global economy, ravaging debt and equity values. The uncertainty has created significant difficulties for oil companies, both in terms of financing commitments and major projects, which need a strong oil price to be commercially viable.

The fall has had the effect of putting a hold on a number of transactions while companies wait to see how and when the volatility will cease and things will stabilise. Renewable energy sources are likely to grow substantially in the coming years. The cumulative oil price decline between June 2014 and March 2016, as noted by the World Bank, is the third largest seen in the past 30 years, surpassed only by the price collapses in 2008 and in 1986. Since 2014, global supplies have been exceeding global consumption and the world has been adding stocks every quarter. OPEC has changed their strategy to rebalance markets.

This session will explore industry adaption, future challenges and trends, and discuss important issues like:

  • When is price recovery expected?
  • How long will the volatility continue?
  • What are the financial instruments to deal with the volatility?

Session overview:

The global oil and gas industry should accelerate efforts to empower women and close the sector’s gender gap or risk operational preparedness to tackle 21st century challenges such as having to overcome an emerging shortage of petroleum engineers and fostering the technological innovations required to harvest increasingly tough-to-access hydrocarbon reservoirs.

As it stands, however, oil and gas companies have not been very successful in increasing the female portion of their workforce. The sector has traditionally been a male domain and has attracted limited numbers of females into its fold—although it has slowly opened up to greater female participation since the 1970s. Women continue to represent only a small share of the global oil industry’s workforce and even fewer hold engineering or other technical roles. The same is true for board-level positions.

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