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KBH Energy Center Executive Director Melinda Taylor Speaks on Collaborative Approaches to Regional Subsurface Challenges at 2015 X Latin American Forum in Mexico City

On April 15, 2015, Melinda Taylor, the KBH Energy Center’s executive director, participated in the X 2015 Latin American Forum on Energy and the Environment in Mexico City. Professor Taylor spoke on a panel called “A Conversation on Collaborative Approaches to Regional Subsurface Challenges.” Leigh Evans, a partner at Environmental Resources Management, and Cecilia De La Macorra, the Latin American director of International Government Relations at Exxon Mobil Corporation, were also on the panel.

KBH Energy Center Executive Director Melinda Taylor speaks on Collaborative Approaches to Regional Subsurface Challenges at X 2015 Latin America Forum on Energy and the Environment in Mexico City
KBH Energy Center Executive Director Melinda Taylor speaks on Collaborative Approaches to Regional Subsurface Challenges at X 2015 Latin America Forum on Energy and the Environment in Mexico City

The University of Texas at Austin’s Jackson School of Geosciences Latin American Forum on Energy and the Environment is a unique by-invitation-only free to attend program that addresses a critical need to bring together public and private sector decision makers, scholars and scientists, to foster dialogue around the sustainable development of energy resources and environmental issues.

Its focus is to advance collaborative cross-disciplinary academic, research and networking opportunities between Mexican and United States geoscientists from academia and the private and public sector.

The Forum’s technical panels are being developed with the support and cooperation of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Mexico’s (UNAM) geoscience research centers, as well as with Mexico’s geoscience professional societies.

The 2015 X Latin American Forum on Energy and the Environment also underscores the objectives of the United States – Mexico Bilateral Forum on Higher Education, Innovation, and Research, the Fulbright-Garcia Robles Scholarship Program, 100,000 Strong in the Americas and Proyecto 100 MIL initiatives which bring together academia, the public and private sectors so as to promote student exchanges, quality post-secondary education and scientific research cooperation between Mexico and the United States especially in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields.

For more information, visit the X 2015 Latin American Forum website.

Kay Bailey Hutchison Center for Energy, Law, and Business at The University of Texas at Austin Releases Report Highlighting the Climate Benefits of Reducing Pipeline Gas Losses

AUSTIN, Texas – The Kay Bailey Hutchison Center for Energy, Law, and Business at The University of Texas at Austin released a report today by Romany Webb, a post-graduate research fellow in the Center, which examines the hidden environmental costs of compensating pipelines for natural gas losses. The report is the first comprehensive analysis of the regulation of lost and unaccounted-for gas across every U.S. jurisdiction. “The existing regulatory frameworks don’t do enough to encourage pipeline operators to reduce gas losses due to leaks” said Professor Melinda Taylor, a senior lecturer at the UT School of Law and the KBH Energy Center’s executive director. “Our report suggests a new approach that would encourage improved leak management, reducing greenhouse gas emissions that accelerate climate change.”

The KBH Energy Center’s report cites numerous studies finding that although substituting natural gas for coal or oil in electricity generation and other applications can significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other air pollutants, helping to mitigate climate change and improve air quality, these reductions are frequently offset by emissions during natural gas production. The report argues that realizing the full benefits of this so-called “clean fossil fuel” will therefore require changes in the production process. It urges action to prevent natural gas – which is comprised principally of methane – leaking from the pipeline system. The report notes that there is, however, currently little incentive for pipeline operators to repair system leaks as the cost of leaked gas can be passed through to ratepayers.

“Pipeline operators can recover the cost of so-called lost and unaccounted-for gas, including gas that escapes through system leaks” said Webb. “Many operators have reported gas losses exceeding ten percent of pipeline throughput, with some reporting losses as high as twenty or even thirty percent. This is incredibly wasteful and poses a serious threat to public safety and the environment.”

What changes need to be made to the current frameworks for recovery of lost and unaccounted-for gas in each U.S. jurisdiction to encourage improved management of pipeline leaks? The report recommends a series of changes to the current frameworks to encourage improved management of pipeline leaks, namely that:

  1. lost and unaccounted-for gas should be reported based on a standard definition and calculated using a consistent methodology,
  2. the cost recovery framework should be reformed to incentivize reduction of lost and unaccounted-for gas,
  3. pipeline operators’ claimed gas losses should be carefully scrutinized, and
  4. the federal and state regulations should establish an appropriate cap on cost recovery for lost gas.

“These reforms would create a powerful incentive for pipeline operators to improve system management to reduce gas losses” said Webb. “This can help to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and thereby slow the pace of global climate change.”

View a post summarizing the report on the KBH Energy Center’s Blog.

For additional information, contact Romany Webb at (512) 232-1408 or rwebb@law.utexas.edu.

About the KBH Energy Center

The Kay Bailey Hutchison Center for Energy, Law, and Business is an innovative interdisciplinary joint venture of the School of Law and the McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas at Austin. The mission of the KBH Energy Center is to provide the finest educational opportunities in the United States to students who wish to pursue careers in energy and to serve as a nexus for incisive, unbiased, and relevant research and analyses for policy makers, with a special emphasis on Latin America.

About Romany Webb

Romany Webb’s current research focuses on managing the environmental impacts of oil and gas production. Webb previously worked at the University of California, Berkeley, where she researched climate change policy. She has also practiced energy and water law in Sydney, Australia.

Brazilian legal scholar Marilda Rosado gives talk on challenges to the oil and gas industry in Brazil at the KBH Energy Center

On April 21, 2015, Brazilian legal scholar Marilda Rosado gave a talk on challenges to the oil and gas industry in Brazil. Her presentation focused on recent trends, a comparative look at what’s happening in the oil and gas sector in other Latin American countries, legal highlights, upcoming opportunities, and challenges. According to Rosado, the biggest challenges include (1) corporate governance, (2) regulatory governance, and (3) good governance, soft law, and global administrative law.

View a PDF of the PowerPoint presentation.

View Professor Rosado’s bio.

Marilda Rosado, Professor of International Law and Oil & Gas Law at the Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro, speaks to faculty and students at Texas Law about challenges to the oil & gas industry in Brazil.
Marilda Rosado, Professor of International Law and Oil & Gas Law at the Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro, speaks to faculty and students at Texas Law about challenges to the oil & gas industry in Brazil.

Visiting Professor Owen Anderson gives distinguished lecture at KBH Energy Center on emerging energy issues in the developing world

Owen Anderson, a Visiting Professor from University of Oklahoma College of Law, gave a distinguished lecture on April 16, 2015 at the KBH Energy Center. Professor Anderson spoke about emerging energy issues in the developing world. Professor Anderson argued that if geology is favorable, a well-designed subsoil fiscal and legal system can address today’s challenges in Africa and in other poor regimes of the world. Specifically, a well-designed subsoil fiscal and legal system can ensure that both Host Governments and investors will attain their respective development goals – the capture of economic rents and a reasonable rate of return, as well as allow for “durable and satisfying” development.

Professor Anderson is the Eugene Kuntz Chair of Law in Oil, Gas and Natural Resources, George Lynn Cross Research Professor, and Director of the John B. Turner LL.M. Program in Energy, Natural Resources & Indigenous Peoples Law at the University of Oklahoma College of Law. He also regularly teaches at the University of Texas and at other universities on six continents. In 2011, he received the Clyde O. Martz Award for Excellence in Teaching from the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation.

View a PDF of Professor Anderson’s PowerPoint Presentation.

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Visiting Professor Owen Anderson discusses oil and gas issues in the developing world.
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Audience members included UT faculty, students, and staff from departments across campus, including law, business, engineering, geosciences, and public affairs, as well as members of the Austin community.

 

 

 

 

 

 

2015 Inaugural PLM Alumni Reunion

Inaugural PLM Alumni Reunion

PLM 3March 2015 The Houston area Petroleum Land Management (PLM) Alumni gathered together Monday, March 30 at Saint Arnold’s brewery to reconnect with fellow graduates of the program.  The inaugural event began at 6:00 p.m. at St. Arnold’s brewery with delicious food provided by El Tiempo Cantino.  Brooks Hanna, Program Coordinator for the University of Texas Energy Management Program (EMP) was in attendance and spent the evening discussing the program with several alumni interested in being engaged with the program.  This event served as a great opportunity for alumni to celebrate the many opportunities their PLM degree has offered but also to catch up with their peers from the 1971-1987 graduating classes.  EMP Advisors, Larry Svab (Vice President Land North American Shale Production, BHP Billiton Petroleum) and Dave Amend (Sr. Executive Vice President, Houston Energy Inc.) planned and executed a wonderful event and for that we thank you!

For more information about the Energy Management Program, currently in its third year, please visit http://tinyurl.com/UTEMP.

 

 

 

2015 NGP Energy Capital Management’s “How To Start An Oil &Gas Company” Event

How To Start An Oil & Gas Company

NGP 1March 2015 NGP Energy Capital Management, a leading private equity firm, hosted an event called “How To Start An Oil & Gas Company,” on March 3rd in the San Jacinto Residence Hall with a little over 200 guests in attendance. Dr. John Butler (Associate Director of the Kay Bailey Hutchison Center for Energy, Law and Business) and Chris Carter (managing partner with NGP Energy Capital Management) introduced and welcomed the audience and explained the focus of the event: encouraging young entrepreneurs to start energy companies. Then, Brian Seline (Associate at NGP Energy Capital Management) spoke about effective ways to get a job in energy investment banking and private equity. Gray Lisenby (CFO of Rice Energy) spoke on the possible roles for the next generation of leaders in the oil and gas industry and John Wenzierl (CEO for Memorial Resources Development and Memorial Productions Partners) provided anecdotes and advice on how to navigate a successful and fulfilling career path.

The series of talks was followed by a panel discussion featuring Dick Brannon (CEO of CH4 Energy II), Mike Grimm (Chairman of the Board at RSP Permian and CEO of Rising Star Energy), and David Myers (CEO of Cisco Energy), moderated by David Hayes (Managing Director at NGP Energy Capital Management). The group provided personal stories relating to how they view the entrepreneurial process and answered questions from the audience with practical advice on where the industry is headed and new opportunities. Afterwards, guests and speakers gathered for a reception in the San Jacinto Residence Hall to mingle and exchange ideas.

NGP 2The evening was a success and we hope to host future NGP Energy Capital Management events in the future.  We are also exploring opportunities for similar events with a focus on other industries that offer students the practical advice and encouragement to start new companies.