Navigating the Oil Frontier: The Implications of the Tight Oil Boom on Arctic and Ultra-Deepwater Oil Development

WHEN: Monday, April 21st 2014 7:00 am to 10:30 am

WHERE: Washington Court Hotel, 525 New Jersey Ave., NW, Washington, DC, 20001

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Session Four of the New Geopolitics of Petroleum and Natural Gas Series

With the U.S. tight oil boom headlining the dramatic resurgence in North American oil production, expectations about future oil supply have shifted from traditional OPEC oil producers to countries whose oil production had previously been declining. This virtual explosion in the production of unconventional oil has major implications for the development of all oil sources, particularly high-cost, high-risk “frontier oil,” as found in the Arctic or ultra-deepwater.

Join the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) for the final session in the New Geopolitics of Petroleum and Natural Gas series. The first panel will discuss whether the market needs “frontier oil,” given the boom in lower-cost unconventional oil production, and will explore the infrastructure, technical, safety and access issues associated with Arctic and ultra-deepwater oil production. In addition, the panelists will consider the geopolitical ramifications of frontier oil development.

On the second panel, participants will consider the science and safety concerns associated with operating in ultra-deepwater areas and in the Arctic. Panelists will consider the specific challenges associated with the Arctic’s unique geology and environment, and how these challenges will be impacted by climate change adaptation. This panel will also discuss the current state of disaster response and spill cleanup in both Arctic and ultra-deepwater oil production areas, while examining potential combinations of methods and practices that might safely overcome technical and environmental challenges in all frontier areas.

Join the discussion on Twitter – @BPC_Bipartisan, #BPCenergy.

Featuring a keynote speech from:

The Honorable Chris Smith
Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy, U.S. Department of Energy

Other panelists include:

Margot Anderson
Executive Director, BPC’s Energy Project

Michael Bromwich
Founder and Managing Principal, The Bromwich Group
Former Director of the Bureau of Ocean Energy, Management Regulation and Enforcement

Senator Pete V. Domenici (Ret.)
Senior Fellow, BPC

Rebecca Fitz
Senior Director of Upstream Strategy & Completion, IHS Energy

David Goldwyn
President and Founder, Goldwyn Global Strategies, LLC
Former Special Envoy and Coordinator for International Energy Affairs, U.S. Department of State

David Houseknect
Research Geologist, U.S. Geological Survey

Oliver Moghissi, Ph.D.
VP Technology, DNV GL North America Oil & Gas

Richard Sears
Consulting Professor, Stanford University

Fran Ulmer
Chair, U.S. Arctic Research Commission


Agenda

8:00AM Continental breakfast available

8:30AM Welcome and Introduction

  • Senator Pete V. Domenici (Ret.), BPC Senior Fellow
  • Margot Anderson, Executive Director, BPC Energy Project

Series Moderator: David Goldwyn, Goldwyn Global Strategies, LLC

8:45AM Keynote Speaker

9:15AM Panel 1: Assessing the Need for Frontier Oil in an Unconventional World

The rapid increase in the production of unconventional oil has raised questions about the feasibility of production of oil from other sources, particularly high-cost, high-risk oil such as that found in the Arctic or ultra-deepwater. This panel will consider the potential for competition from unconventional oil, as well as infrastructure, technical, safety, and access issues, to influence the prospects for Arctic and ultra-deepwater oil production. In addition, the panelists will discuss the geopolitical ramifications of frontier oil development, including the implications of the United States’ delay in ratifying the Law of the Sea Treaty.

10:15AM 15 minute coffee break

10:30AM Panel 2: Navigating the Frontier: Science and Safety Concerns

The Arctic is a unique and highly diverse environment, both ecologically and in terms of its prospects for oil production. Industry, government, and stakeholders are working to close existing data gaps surrounding operating conditions in Arctic regions, and to better understand the environmental, scientific, social, and technical challenges associated with Arctic oil production. Panelists will consider specific challenges associated with the Arctic’s unique geology and environment, and how these challenges will be impacted by climate change adaptation. The panel will also discuss the current state of disaster response and spill cleanup in both Arctic and ultra-deepwater oil production areas, while examining potential combinations of methods and practices that might safely overcome technical and environmental challenges in all frontier regions.

12:00PM Adjourn