Running parallel to the two-day 8th OPEC International Seminar programme, the Seminar Exhibition will allow exhibitors and attendees to spotlight on the global energy agenda and its most pressing challenges and opportunities, including trends and innovations related to the latest technologies and developments across the industry’s entire value chain. This will not only help to reinforce existing relationships, but build bridges for future dialogue and cooperation.
With oil and energy leaders from around the world gathering at the historic Hofburg Palace in Vienna, join the President of the OPEC Conference in 2023, the OPEC Secretary General, and host country dignitaries to set the scene for the 8th OPEC International Seminar. Reflecting on the history of the landmark event, the current global energy landscape, and the future outlook, the Opening Ceremony will provide a harbinger to the two days of deliberations ahead.
Special introductory session
More details on the Special Introductory Session will be provided nearer the time of the Seminar.
Networking coffee break
Ministerial session 1
Market stability and energy security
For both producers and consumers, energy security is a dominant concern. What goes hand-in hand with this is sustainable energy market stability. In the case of the oil market, this means balanced and sound fundamentals, as well as a platform to ensure that the necessary investments across the full industry value chain are made to meet future demand. In this regard, it is important to recognize the potential impact of excessive volatility, in its various guises, on the oil market. For example, the impact of disconnects between the physical and paper markets, the role of speculative activities, and how policies and the environmental disclosure drive can lead to a shortfall in oil investments that leads to further energy insecurity.
High-level roundtable 1
Energy sustainability trilemma
In recent years, it has become clear that the energy world is facing challenges that are enormous, complex and interconnected. This has been evidenced by the strains and conflicting targets related to energy security, energy affordability and the need to reduce emissions, all integral components of the energy sustainability trilemma. It has become clear that focusing on one aspect of the trilemma, while neglecting the others, can lead to unintended consequences, such as market volatilities, price shocks and energy shortages. In order to avoid these unwanted effects, national and international energy policies should be evolved carefully, fine-tuned when necessary and involve all relevant stakeholders. With energy at the heart of the global economy, and people’s everyday lives, it vital to take a holistic view of the energy sustainability trilemma.
Ministerial session 2
Investments, finance and inclusive petroleum growth strategies
Investments are the lifeblood of the global oil industry. In OPEC’s World Oil Outlook, required oil industry investments total $12.1 trillion to 2045. This equates to over $500 billion each year on average, with recent annual levels significantly below this, due to industry downturns, the pandemic, and the increasing focus on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues. Industry stakeholders can help to ensure a long-term investment-friendly climate, with sufficient finance available and supportive and inclusive policies. Investments should consider an ‘all-peoples, all-fuels and all-technologies’ approach to the issues of energy security and reducing emissions. One that is sustainable, works for both producers and consumers, and developed and developing countries.
High-level roundtable 2
Energy investment: challenges and opportunities
Energy is a central pillar of global economic growth and social welfare, underpinning old and new industries, investments, innovations, access to health, education and job opportunities. Access to reliable and affordable energy sources for all cannot be achieved without regular and steady investments. Today, investors are often caught up in dilemmas that challenge their impetus to invest, for example, political and regulatory uncertainty, ESG issues and the knock-on impacts of the pandemic. These challenges need to be faced head on, particularly given that OPEC’s World Oil Outlook sees global energy demand rising by 23% in the period to 2045. This expansion also underscores the opportunities in the energy space, and the massive investments required.
Networking coffee break
High-level roundtable 3
Technology and innovation for a low emissions future
Technology advancements and innovations have the potential to improve performance across the entire oil industry value chain. They are vital for improving efficiencies, extending the industry’s reach in terms of the way resources are identified and developed, enabling better optimization and automation, and in helping provide better, faster, cheaper, healthier and safer operations and products. The application of advanced technologies can help to significantly reduce the carbon footprint of the industry. This includes a variety of technologies such as carbon capture, usage and storage (CCUS), direct air capture (DAC), blue hydrogen, crude-to chemicals, integration of renewables and digitalization for increased process efficiency. A future focused on technology innovation will require significant investment for companies to stay ahead of the technology curve.
*The programme is subject to change
Ministerial session 3
Pathways to just energy transitions
One of the major future challenges is how to construct sustainable and reliable energy systems. It requires a delicate balance between various targets, such as reducing emissions, energy availability and affordability, as well as energy security. Focusing on only one of these over the others can lead to unintended consequences, such as market distortions, heightened volatility and even energy shortfalls. The science tells us that tackling emissions has many possible paths. There is no one-size-fits-all solution, for countries or industries. The narrative that the energy transition is from oil and other fossil fuels to renewables is misleading and potentially dangerous to a world that continues to be thirsty for all energy sources. It is vital to look at the role of R&D and technology to help improve the environmental credentials of all energies, and thus help move towards an inclusive and just energy transition for all.
High-level roundtable 4
Eradicating energy poverty
Action is required more than ever to help eradicate energy poverty amid disruptions related to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, geopolitics, and the global economic situation. At present, the world is falling behind in the attainment of UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 7, related to energy poverty eradication. For example, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought widespread human and socio-economic ramifications, not least for developing countries and vulnerable groups who feel the effects acutely. International cooperation and finance are fundamental factors for achieving progress on SDGs, including on universal energy access, so that no one is left behind as the world looks at a just and inclusive energy transition.
Networking coffee break
High-level roundtable 5
The pace of energy transitions and climate change policies
Striking a balance between satisfying the energy needs of the global economy and building a comprehensive, resilient, sustainable, and climate-friendly energy system that supports and enables sustainable development is one of the key challenges of this generation. Many possible response actions are available across the world, with an increasing number of climate change policies emerging subject to national circumstances, many of which are relevant to the energy sector. Besides national policies, a stronger role for international climate change policy has been called for recognizing that the choice of a climate mitigation pathway should not be binary – namely, hydrocarbons or renewables – but an inclusive and just approach. Recently this has become more evident, but there remain divergent views on the pace for energy transitions.
Ministerial session 4
Diversifying energy economies
Increasingly stringent climate mitigation policies and actions could have important implications for energy exporting economies and their right to sustainable development. Economic diversification and resilience could provide innovative approaches to mitigate risks and offset any impacts arising from the implementation of climate response measures. Some countries are well under way in diversifying their economies, but it is clear that alternative pathways are being followed due to diverse economic conditions, comparative advantages, priorities, capabilities and national circumstances. All available approaches and viable options that could support economic diversification and enhance resilience, in light of resource availability, should be considered in order to create a more predictable environment for investment, trade and technology advancement, while offering the wider benefits needed to set the world on a sustainable and fair pathway.
Networking coffee break
High-level roundtable 6
The role of international cooperation in diversifying economies
Economic diversification and enhancing economic resilience can be achieved through a range of pathways. Today, countries find themselves at different stages of economic development and diversification, and with varying capabilities and resource availability, all of which need to be taken into account. International cooperation and multilateral fora could play a key role in aiding the diversification of energy exporting and importing economies through the facilitation of knowledge sharing, technological exchanges, as well as in the energy space through actions aimed at improving market stability. Furthermore, the related challenges of sustainable development, addressing climate change and ensuring energy security will require widespread engagement at a multinational level, further underscoring the paramount importance of international dialogue.