(Bloomberg) -- It’s the opening day of CERAWeek by S&P Global in Houston, one of the energy industry’s biggest annual gatherings and one that hasn’t been held in person in three years because of the pandemic.
The conference gets underway amid massive gyrations in global energy markets following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, with uncertainty over the future of Russian exports triggering big rallies in the price of oil and natural gas. In addition to the fast-changing geopolitics of fossil fuels, the event is also heavily focused on the energy transition.
Time stamps are Houston.
Cheniere Says New LNG Capacity Sold Out Into the 2040s (11:42am)
Cheniere Energy Inc., the largest U.S. liquefied natural gas exporter, has sold out through the 2040s of the planned production from the $7 billion expansion of its Corpus Christi plant, the company’s CEO Jack Fusco said.
The comments underline the strength of the global LNG market, with demand extremely high in Europe as customers there seek to reduce their dependence on Russian natural gas supplies.
Hess Calls on U.S. and Allies to Double Oil Stockpile Release (11:18am)
Hess Corp.’s chief executive officer John Hess called on the U.S. and its international allies to release 120 million barrels of oil from strategic petroleum reserves in response to the surge in global energy prices, double what was agreed upon last week.
“It’s very important for the United States to stand tall here and ensure the energy security of our country and the world by ensuring a strong oil and gas industry and recognizing the strategic role it plays in everybody’s lives,” he said.
TotalEnergies Says Some Employees in Ukraine Joined Military (11:13pm)
Some workers for French oil giant TotalEnergies SE in Ukraine have joined the fight against invading Russian forces, Chief Executive Officer Patrick Pouyanne said today as he denounced the Russian invasion.
Pouyanne didn’t disclose any details on the size or nationalities of the employees involved.
Total is the only supermajor not to pull out of Russia, and Pouyanne said the company is receiving no pressure from the French government to do so.
Russian gas was specifically excluded from European sanctions so it would be “inconsistent” for companies to pull out of their gas assets he said.
Total’s traders won’t be buying Russian oil anymore and most of its refineries will find alternative sources of crude, Pouyanne said. Total has one landlocked refinery that’s still dependent on Russian oil, he said.
Shale Driller EQT Hit With Cyberattacks After Invasion (10:30am)
EQT Corp., the largest producer of natural gas in the U.S. has seen an uptick in cyberattacks since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, according to the company’s Chief Executive Officer, Toby Rice.
“These types of things are routine,” Rice said in an interview with Bloomberg TV in Houston, adding that EQT has been able to identify and block the attacks.
Woods Pushes Back on Limiting Scope 3 Emissions (10:25am)
Woods warned of “unintended consequences” of forcing oil and gas companies to reduce the the broadest measures of greenhouse gas emissions. Exxon is increasing its so-called Scope 3 emissions with the growth of its liquefied natural gas business, he said, but overall, gas will help bring emissions down because it replaces coal.
European majors such as Shell and BP have linked their net zero goals to a so-called Scope 3 target but American producers have so far rejected the measure.
Governments around the world need “thoughtful” policy that works with oil companies and existing technologies to reduce emissions while balancing the world’s energy needs, he said.
Exxon CEO Warns of ‘Tough Times’ to Come (10:16 am)
Exxon Chief Executive Officer Darren Woods warned conference attendees that oil and other energy markets are in for more turbulence as the international backlash against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine begins to bite.
“We’re going to see tough times ahead,” Woods said little more than week after the Texas-based oil titan announced plans to exit its Russian investments that include a massive crude development off the nation’s Pacific coast.
Woods is the first major oil CEO to speak at the event. Top executives from TotalEnergies SE and Chevron Corp. Are scheduled to follow later in the day.
Upheaval Shifts Conference Focus (9:35 a.m.)
Daniel Yergin, the Pulitzer-prize winning oil historian who helped found the conference more than 40 years ago, opened the first session by acknowledging the seismic shift impacting energy markets and the broader economy in just the past few days.
War in Ukraine Overshadows Energy Transition as Oil CEOs Gather
“The world doesn’t stand still,” Yergin said during his introduction of the day’s first speaker, former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. Although the pivot away from fossil fuels remains a focus, “so is energy security. Energy and economic upheaval are reverberating across he economy. We haven’t seen anything of this dimension since the 1970s.”
(Updates with comments from Cheniere CEO)
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