As some of you know, International Petroleum Week took place in London this week.
For the second year in a row, the risk of supply disruption was the dominant theme at the conference, where the main worry was Iran (a shift from Libya in 2011).
The event, which brought together influential traders and executives in the energy industry, led to many talks and forecasts on the price of oil – with some ventured forecasts hitting $150 a barrel or higher dependent on the large supply disruption involving Iran influences the energy market.
The FT reports that Wall Street banks briefing their clients during IP Week have painted a bullish outlook. However, Christophe de Margerie, Chief Executive of French oil group Total, tried to calm the market by claiming it had had no trouble finding alternative sources of crude since it ceased trading with the country earlier this year. That message was supposedly reinforced by the International Energy Agency.
Another topic of interest at the conference was minister of state for energy at DECC, Charles Hendry’s opinion on the Coryton refinery.
The Global technology Forum published an interview with the minister. “We think Coryton has a very real future in the UK economy. Of the Petroplus refineries, it’s probably the stronger one and therefore while there is clearly challenges facing the refining sector across the whole of Europe, Coryton is in a strong position to survive in the future.”
He added that they are currently preparing a strategy paper which will be published in Autumn of this year about “how we view the importance of that industry and we have an organisation called the Downstream Oil Industry Forum which brings together industry and government to work on that.”
Other highlights of this year’s programme included a focus on Russia, The Arctic and CIS, with a presentation from Jonathan Kollek, Senior Vice President of Sales, Trading and Logistics at TNK-BP, and a talk from Paul Corcoran, Financial Director at Nord Stream AG about Nord Stream’s ability to help companies meet European Gas Demand.
There was also a focus on deep-water offshore with presentations from Ali Moshiri, President, Africa and Latin America E&P Company at Chevron and a discussion on partnerships with Kjell-Erik Oestdahl, Executive Vice President Operations at Schlumberger.
We will be closely monitoring the shift in crude oil prices over the coming months as the relationships between Iran and other European states develop.