ONS, the biannual Stavanger exhibition and conference that is one of the world’s most important upstream events, attracted almost 66,000 visitors from 29 August to 1 September. Among the conference speakers was IOGP Executive Director Gordon Ballard, who headlined two sessions.
For the first, on 29 August, he was invited to address 40 Members of the Norwegian Parliament. ‘It was a perfect opportunity,’ Gordon says. ‘As legislators in a major oil and gas producing nation, the MPs I spoke to naturally had a good understanding of the industry in their own country. What I did was to explain the Association’s global role and our aim of raising awareness of the need for a balanced energy future. This I defined as one that balances climate awareness with affordability and security of supply – all within the context of a world population growing in numbers as well as prosperity.
‘Citing data from the IEA, Statoil and other sources, I demonstrated that oil and gas will continue to play a vital role for decades to come, alongside renewables, nuclear and any other viable alternatives that arise,’ Gordon says.
Two days later, on 31 August, Gordon chaired a conference session on emerging markets. Introducing experts on industry economics, LNG, and markets in Africa, India and China, Gordon focussed on demand. Quoting UN figures on population growth, he said ‘By 2040, you’ll be sharing the planet – and its resources – with about 9 billion other people. That’s a 2 billion increase over the current population in less than 25 years,’ he said.
Moreover, he added, economic experts forecast that by 2040, world GDP will grow to 2.5 times what it is now. ‘More people, living to higher standards than ever before, will need more energy to achieve and maintain those standards,’ he said. ‘And even in a post-COP 21 lower carbon economy, oil and gas will account for about half of energy needs – just as they do now,’ he said.