Early Bird Closing: Global Energy Systems - June 26-28 2013

It is essential for energy professionals to stay well informed with the latest insights in this evolving world. For this reason, Euan Mearns of The Oil Drum, myself and several others, are organizing the first three-day Global Energy Systems conference, which will take place in Edinburgh, United Kingdom from June 26 - 28, 2013. This is the last week for Early Bird Registrations which are only available until April 5th.

The conference is meant to deliver key updates on the most pressing energy issues and challenges facing our energy system, as well as providing a forum for exchange of substantially different viewpoints. It is supported by several universities and research institutes including University of Aberdeen, University of Uppsala, University of Bristol, University of Edinburgh, Oxford Research Group, Chatham House and others. The scope is deliberately very broad, covering most primary energy sources, so that a global view of the current energy system can be presented. Session topics include “the limits to easily accessible fossil fuels”, “frontier fossil fuel technologies and basins”, “the viability of nuclear power”, “the costs and benefits of fossil versus renewable electricity”, and “the economics and policy of energy systems”.

A few of our confirmed speakers include Michael Kumhof (IMF), Tatiana Mitrova (Energy Research Institute Russian Academy of Sciences), Dr. Richard Stainsby, (UK National Nuclear Laboratories), Peter Jackson (IHS CERA), Alex Kemp (University of Aberdeen), David Shropshire (IAEA), Dr. Alexander Naumov (Group Economics BP), Guy de Kort (Shell Vice President GTL), Friedrich Schulte (RWE).

Read below the fold for an overview of the complete conference program.

General information

1st Global Energy Systems Conference

Our Dynamic Earth, Edinburgh, United Kingdom

Wednesday June 26 to Friday June 28, 2013

Registration open - early bird rates available until April 5th

General interest, media and sponsorship enquiries
The conference is organized on a non-profit basis by a group of energy professionals concerned about the challenges that we face. Any expressions of interest, suggestions for content and analysis, and contributions of sponsorship, are most welcome. Your content, media, and sponsorship related communication can be directed to: alexr at scenetwork.co.uk

Day 1 – Fossil Fuels: Can we turn Unconventional into Conventional?

Conference Opening

08:00 – 09:00 Registration | Coffee & tea
09:00 – 09:40 Welcome and Sponsor address

Program Committee and Sponsors

09:40 – 10:25 Keynote Address on the Global Energy Challenges

Lord Ron Oxburgh, House of Lords UK Parliament

10:25 – 10:50 Coffee & tea

The Limits to Easily Accessible Fossil Fuels

10:50 – 11:15 Fossil Fuel Production forecasts: analysis of resource and reserve assumptions and model mechanics

Joint Paper convened by Dr. Roger Bentley

11:15 – 11:40 Perspectives on China's Coal Industry and Future

Kevin Jianjun Tu, Senior Associate Carnegie

11:40 – 12:05 World Oil Upstream Development Outlook, Production, Technology, and Cost

Dr. Peter Jackson, Head of Research IHS CERA

12:05 – 12:30 Russia's Natural Gas Production & Export Policy

Dr. Tatiana Mitrova, Head Oil & Gas, Energy Research Institute Russian Academy of Sciences

12:30 – 13:30 Lunch Break

Frontier Fossil Fuel Technologies and Basins

13:30 – 13:55 The future of US shale/tight oil

Dr. Kenneth Chew

13:55 – 14:20 Oil and gas recovery from continuous (unconventional) resources: Technology innovation options for improving the economic baseline

Dr. Ruud Weijermars, Director TU/Delft Unconventional Gas Research Initiative

14:20 – 14:55 Key developments and challenges of Enhanced Oil Recovery techniques and CO2 Solutions

Prof. Mehran Sohrabi, Institute of Petroleum Engineering, Heriot-Watt University

14:55 – 15:10 Refreshment Break
15:10 – 15:35 The current status of Underground Coal Gasification as a Commercial Technology

Dr. Peter Dryburgh, Wardell Armstrong

15:35 – 16:00 Gas to Liquids - an opportunity to convert natural gas for use in the transport sector

Guy de Kort, Shell Vice President GTL

16:00 – 16:30 Coffee & tea

Debate: Energy Scarcity, Threat or Fiction?

16:30 – 17:30 Viewpoint A: "Upcoming technologies will unlock the unconventional resource base"
Viewpoint B: "We can’t afford the energy, labour and capital cost to prolong the fossil fuel era"
  • Prof. Kjell Aleklett, Uppsala University Global Energy Systems Group

Day Summary

17:30 – 18:00 Closing

Program Committee

18:00 – 21:00 Drinks & Networking Event

Separate tickets available


Day 2 – The Future of the Electricity System

Conference Opening

08:00 – 09:00 Registration | Coffee & tea
09:00 – 09:40 Welcome and Sponsor address

Program Committee and Sponsors

09:40 – 10:25 Keynote Address

Dr. Jeremy Leggett, non-Executive chairman Solarcentury, Chairman Solaraid

10:25 – 10:50 Coffee & tea

The viability of Nuclear Power

10:50 – 11:15 Should the UK nuclear programme be a model for the rest of Europe?

Prof. Steve Thomas, Greenwich University

11:15 – 11:40 The costs and economic viability of nuclear energy

Dr. David Shropshire, Head Planning and Economic Studies, International Atomic Energy Agency

11:40 – 12:05 Trends towards Sustainability in the nuclear fuel cycle

Dr. Ron Cameron, Head Nuclear Development Division, OECD Nuclear Energy Agency

12:05 – 12:30 Generation IV fast reactors and the re-use of long-lived nuclear waste

Dr. Richard Stainsby, Chief Technologist, UK National Nuclear Laboratories 

12:30 – 13:30 Lunch Break

The challenges of a renewables based electricity grid

13:30 – 13:55 The Benefits and Costs of Renewable Energy deployment

Dr. Ulrike Lehr, Institute of Economic Structures Research GWS

13:55 – 14:20 Demand side electricity grid management

Speaker to be announced

14:20 – 14:55 The potential and costs of electricity storage

Friedrich Schulte, Head of Technologies, RWE AG

14:55 – 15:10 Refreshment Break
15:10 – 15:35 Electrochemistry and the energy storage gap

Dr. David Fermin, University of Bristol

15:35 – 16:00 Grid balancing and development in an era of renewable energies

Andrew Hiorns, Network Strategy Manager, National Grid UK

16:00 – 16:30 Coffee & tea

Debate: Where to invest in for the electricity system of the future? A choice between Shale Gas, Nuclear, Renewables, and Coal with CCS?

16:30 – 17:30

More panelists to be announced

Day Summary

17:30 – 18:00 Closing of Day 2

Program Committee

18:00 – 19:30 Policy Workshop: the information, data, and policy gaps on meeting the Energy Challenges

Breakout group of speakers plus invited delegates


Day 3 – The Economics & Policy of Energy Systems

Conference Opening

08:30 – 09:00 Coffee & tea
09:00 – 09:15 Welcome and Sponsor address

Program Committee and Sponsors

09:15 – 10:00 Keynote Address

Professor Sir David King, Former Director Smith School Oxford University

Understanding Energy Supply, Demand, Price, and the role of policies

10:00 – 10:25 The energy outlook to 2030: Global Trends in energy-economic relations

Dr. Alexander Naumov, Group Economics, BP plc

10:25 – 10:50 The influence of price risks on policy design and investment

Dr. William Blyth, Director Oxford Energy Associates

10:50 – 11:15 Coffee & tea
11:15 – 11:40 The capital cost requirements of energy transitions

Dr. Michael Dale, Stanford University

11:40 – 12:00 The demand side: energy intensity of the economy

Dr. Sgouris Sgouridis, Masdar Institute

Panel Discussion on Key Knowledge, Data & Policy Gaps in the Energy sphere

12:00 - 12:45 Professor Michael Jefferson, University of Buckingham
Professor Zoe Shipton, University of Strathclyde

More panelists to be announced

12:45 – 13:00 Conference Summary

Final Sponsor Thanks

Dynamic Earth, Edinburgh, 26th-28th June - Register Here!

Why doesn't this article have a comment?

The participants of this worthy meeting should be discussing this article, which I reproduce parts of below, to wet the appetite.

Is the Peak Oil glass half-empty or half-full?



April 03, 2013
The death of peak oil

"Peak oil is dead," Rob Wile declared last week. Colin Sullivan says it has "gone the way of the Flat Earth Society", writing

Those behind the theory appear to have been dead wrong, at least in terms of when the peak would hit, having not anticipated the rapid shift in technology that led to exploding oil and natural gas production in new plays and areas long since dismissed as dried up.

These comments inspired me to revisit some of the predictions made in 2005 that received a lot of attention at the time, and take a look at what's actually happened since then.

Here's how Boone Pickens saw the world in a speech given May 3, 2005:

"Let me tell you some facts the way I see it," he began. "Global oil (production) is 84 million barrels (a day). I don't believe you can get it any more than 84 million barrels. I don't care what (Saudi Crown Prince) Abdullah, (Russian Premier Vladimir) Putin or anybody else says about oil reserves or production. I think they are on decline in the biggest oil fields in the world today and I know what's it like once you turn the corner and start declining, it's a tread mill that you just can't keep up with....

"Don't let the day-to-day NYMEX (New York Mercantile Exchange) fool you, because it can turn and go the other direction. I may be wrong. Some of the experts say we'll be down to $35 oil by the end of the year. I think it'll be $60 oil by the end of the year. You're going to see $3 gasoline twelve months from today, or some time during that period."

But others, like Daniel Yergin, chairman of Cambridge Energy Research Associates, were not as concerned. Yergin wrote on July 31, 2005:

Prices around $60 a barrel, driven by high demand growth, are fueling the fear of imminent shortage-- that the world is going to begin running out of oil in five or 10 years. This shortage, it is argued, will be amplified by the substantial and growing demand from two giants: China and India.

Yet this fear is not borne out by the fundamentals of supply. Our new, field-by-field analysis of production capacity, led by my colleagues Peter Jackson and Robert Esser, is quite at odds with the current view and leads to a strikingly different conclusion: There will be a large, unprecedented buildup of oil supply in the next few years. Between 2004 and 2010, capacity to produce oil (not actual production) could grow by 16 million barrels a day-- from 85 million barrels per day to 101 million barrels a day-- a 20 percent increase. Such growth over the next few years would relieve the current pressure on supply and demand...

We beat this drum pretty hard over at Drumbeat, and some of us continue to counter the "Peak Oil Is Dead" arguments as these articles get published, and add informed support to claims that PO is alive and progressing (see Jeffrey J. Brown's comments at the Econobrowser link; he's 'westexas' on this forum). The over-simplifications forwarded by the MSM, etc. seem to be having less effect over time; I think many more folks understand that their relationship to petroleum is going to continue to get more costly, in various ways.

I also think that those who attend this conference have some understanding of this, and policy makers/leaders are generally acknowledging that oil will become increasingly problematic for economies, whether they specifically ackowledge 'peak oil', or avoid pushing this hot-topic button . That "Session topics include “the limits to easily accessible fossil fuels” is included seems to cover the Peak Oil theme. Oil is just one aspect of our overall energy conundrum, and energy is just one aspect of our overall resource/overshoot predicament, albeit, a major one. The ASPO conferences tend to focus more on peak oil specifically.

Thats correct. This conference is intentionally more broad than ASPO, because of the fact that peak oil is part of a larger picture. But yes I'd say the organisers are pretty keenly aware of peak oil and its complexities, and have intentionally chosen speakers on both sides of the argument to stoke debate. Well worth attending I'd say! I can't wait.