Browne calls for new 'rules' in energy

Speaking today at the ONS exhibition and conference, former BP chief Lord Browne said there needs to be a new set of rules for the current day energy industry.

Gene Kliewer,
Technology Editor

STAVANGER, Norway --Speaking today at the ONS exhibition and conference, former BP chief Lord Browne said there needs to be a new set of rules for the current day energy industry.

"We need new rules, laws, and clear targets on how to get things done," Browne said. "Investors need to think about how to reduce the impact of energy costs on business and how to make the right investment for the right supply, particularly of oil."

Browne's thoughts came in response to an interview in front of the conference attendees done by Todd Benjamin, financial editor for CNN.

In answering questions about the future price of oil, Browne said that demand makes the price hard to fix. He did suggest that the floor cost would likely be in the $80-100 range, but that the ceiling value was more difficult to anticipate.

"Demand will 'peak' oil before supply," Browne said.
Looking to future exploration and production, Browne said there were "plenty of places to go (in the world), but not so many places to do a good deal."

One major element making the long-term future difficult to predict, according to Browne, is the fact that the energy industry, and particularly the oil and gas business, still is adjusting to changes in the business, markets, geopolitics, and more since the 1990s, and that changes in culture and changes in mindset are in the process of taking effect. In the nearer term, major oil companies have the advantage of their legacy to rely on while adjusting to new realities over time.

08/26/2008

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