Baker Botts L.L.P., an international law firm, co-hosted the inaugural Global Energy Transitions Summit with Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy on Sept. 28, 2017. Baker Botts partners, CEOs and corporate leaders, along with industry experts in finance, investment and law, led discussions at the Baker Institute on the poignant topics driving the future of the energy industry.
“Over 500 industry leaders registered for the event, which provided a first hand perspective into the core elements driving the U.S. and international energy industry,” said Steven Miles, Baker Botts Partner and Chair of the Baker Botts’ Energy Sector Committee, who provided opening remarks at the event.
“The panelists focused on issues including the supply, demand and replacement of power, oil, gas and technology and how they are defining the direction of the global energy market. These discussions provided valuable insight into today’s industry,” added Mr. Miles.
Baker Botts partners across a number of firm offices and Departments were among more than a dozen international and US panelists from the oil, gas and power industries.
“There is no product like oil, and there is no way to ‘replace’ it in any comprehensive way given its prevalence in our lives and its economic and political importance globally,” Jason Bennett, Partner and Co-Chair of the firm’s Energy Department said during the Global Oil panel.
“The oil trade is embedded in the economies and trade balances of a large number of countries, which will not change in the near-term. While certain demand sources for oil might change over time, as natural gas and electric vehicles compete in certain market segments and in certain markets, oil will continue to be the dominant transportation and aviation fuel and will continue to have significant industrial demand for the foreseeable future, especially in the developing world,” said Mr. Bennett.
“Having a mix of resources is critical to maintaining the stability of the electric grid. As technology advances, there will be many different products introduced into the energy market," said Elaine Walsh, Baker Botts Global Projects partner, during the Power panel.
"Having a better distribution among thermal, solar, wind, hydro, and batteries and other storage could help mitigate the impacts of shocks to the fuel supply and the T&D system, like those caused by extreme weather, which can adversely affect service. In addition, with the introduction of more renewables and distributed energy, there will be a greater need for thermal generation and batteries to provide ancillary services that the former is not technically capable of providing. These resources will need to be compensated appropriately for their contributions to reliability. The markets, as they exist today, don’t necessarily do that.”
Former Secretary of State James A. Baker III, the Chair of the Baker Institute and partner at Baker Botts, and Robert Johnston, the CEO of the Eurasia Group, were the featured keynotes for the program. Andrew M. Baker, Managing Partner of Baker Botts, provided introductory remarks.
In addition, Baker Botts Corporate partner and Partner-in-Charge of the firm’s Austin office, Mollie Duckworth, moderated the Global Gas panel and firm Intellectual Property Partner, Paul Morico, moderated the Global Energy & Technology panel.
The recording of the livestream webcast of the Global Energy Transitions Summit is available here.
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