General Manager, Global Energy Markets & US Economics at BP America
Please note your affiliation and years of experience in the energy and/or environmental field, and any particular achievement/interest in energy/environment you would like to mention.
I am General Manager, Global Energy Markets & US Economics at BP America, and have been with the company since 2001. I lead the company’s analysis of world oil markets (both short- and long-term), and have also led market assessments for natural gas and carbon. In addition, I’ve lead the production of BP’s Statistical Review of World Energy. I’ve had the good fortune to work with BP in both Washington DC and London. Before joining BP, I served as an energy security and Middle East analyst in the federal government for 13 years, and before that I was an analyst for an oil trading firm based in Bermuda. I am also involved in a number of external activities, having served as an officer of both the USAEE and IAEE (and having been honored as a 2013 USAEE Senior Fellow); as Chair of the US Conference of Business Economists as well as the American Petroleum Institute's Committee on Economics and Statistics; and on the external advisory board of the University of Michigan Energy Institute (where I did my undergraduate work) – Go Blue!
Any particular achievement/interest in energy/environment you would like to mention?
It’s been a privilege for me to lead the production of the annual BP Statistical Review of World Energy (www.bp.com/statisticalreview) for the past dozen years. The Review celebrated its 65th anniversary in 2016; it is the longest-running compilation of energy market data in the world, and is seen as an objective source of global energy data that is widely used by academics, industry, governments, and the media. And I can attest to the “government” part of that—I can remember calling BP’s US offices asking for copies of the Review when I was a junior energy analyst in the federal government in the 1980s. In my business travels, I am frequently impressed to find energy analysts and government officials who proudly point to the collection of Statistical Reviews they keep at their desks (in some cases going back 20 or 30 years). Along with the annual BP Energy Outlook (www.bp.com/energyoutlook), the Review plays an important role in establishing BP as a thought-leader on energy issues.
In your opinion, what are important economic/policy issues facing the energy industry nowadays?
I would define it even more broadly—not just issues for the energy industry, but for all of us: industry, academics, policy makers…and consumers! To me, the central challenge is, how does the world get the energy it needs provide a growing population with light, heat, and mobility; to improve peoples’ lives and lift people out of poverty; and to accomplish all of this in ways that are sustainable, secure, and affordable? In particular, how do we manage a system that today is dominated by fossil fuels (86% of primary energy in 2015, according to the Statistical Review!) while getting on a sustainable path for climate and meeting all the other objectives I just described? To accomplish this will require leadership that can think through the problems not only in economic terms, but also integrating disciplines including environmental science, technology, and public policy. This synthesis is the part of my job that I’ve always found to be the most stimulating and rewarding. And I think this is where groups like NCAC will play a key role, in bringing together people from a wide range of backgrounds including industry, academia, NGOs, media and policy making to make decisions that are based on good data and good analysis!
How long have you been a member of NCAC? Any particular NCAC memory you would like to share with us?
I’ve been involved with NCAC for about the past 15 years. It’s a great group and I’ve been so pleased to be a part of it. I’ve made many friends & learned so much at group events over the years. I was especially proud to see my great friend and former colleague Neelesh Nerurkar become NCAC president several years ago—a great example of the quality people that NCAC attracts! Beyond that, I think my favorite memory is actually something I missed: The field trip several years ago to Colonel Drake’s well at Titusville PA. I was so excited to participate because I have a personal connection—my wife & I visited the site when we were dating as young energy analysts, and our wedding announcement was published in the nearby newspaper, the Oil City Derrick—but unfortunately I had a conflict. And by all accounts I missed a GREAT trip…well, maybe next time!