Energy Interactive, our pan-Europe event for the energy industry, gathered approximately 300 energy professionals from across the energy trading landscape to discuss digital transformation, regulation, geopolitics and the market outlook. What were some of the event highlights?
- Energy Interactive 2018 covered digitalization in energy trading, regulatory frameworks, and the market outlooks for oil, natural gas, LNG, shipping, power, carbon and coal.
- The event heard about the four stages of digitalization in energy trading that may one day result in trader-less trading or AI-led bots executing the whole workflow from start to finish.
- The IMO’s 0.5 percent global sulphur cap on fuel content from January 2020 was a major consideration for the event’s oil and shipping forum.
At the heart of our planet’s future is this simple question: “Where will the energy come from to run our cities, industries, transportation infrastructure, laptops, smart devices and, frankly, our lives?”
To answer this question from an industry perspective, we need to know the technologies that will deliver the energy to fulfill the insatiable requirement of our current world for power and electricity. And to identify the regions and countries marked up to change the supply/demand balance.
Our first ever pan-European event for the commodities segment, Energy Interactive 2018, was the platform to answer some of these questions and to tackle the core issues of energy digitalization, regulatory frameworks, and the market outlooks for oil, natural gas, LNG, shipping, power, carbon and coal.
We heard from Rear Admiral Chris Parry on the influence of geopolitics on the energy trading landscape.
He considered the efforts of the oil producing cartel OPEC or U.S. President Donald Trump to ensure a parity on oil prices that are beneficial for major producers and general consumers in Western markets.
Chris also provided a comprehensive background on why and how the future geopolitical objectives of countries such as China and Russia will be critical in determining how the energy mix of the future is developed.
I was also part of a panel on Digitalization in Energy Trading moderated by my colleague Alessandro Sanos. Esteemed industry voices including Antti Belt and Leo Johnson joined me to discuss how best the digital revolution taking place across our lives is also impacting the energy trading business.
Digitalization in energy trading
It’s not only blockchain and AI that hold the key to the hidden efficiencies we are aiming to unlock on our trading desks.
According to Leo, “the step change of an energy landscape where you have distributed producers and consumers via enabling technologies and digitalization” will truly make it democratized.
It was fascinating to hear Antti speak about the four stages of digitalization in energy trading that may one day result in trader-less trading or AI-led bots executing the whole workflow from start to finish.
Watch: Refinitiv Energy Interactive 2018
However, the underpinning of all those advances in technologies is obviously dependent on regulation that ensures we have a consistent and clear framework to develop.
Our insightful interview with Erik Rakhou provided the perspective on how regulatory bodies might need to, and perhaps will, intervene with the tools they have available to ensure the industry remains on a strong footing.
There was also the obvious question from the audience about what happens in the UK and Europe post-Brexit, but Erik’s calculated response spoke to what we all know in every eventuality — change, adopt quickly and move on if there is to be success for regulatory frameworks.
IMO sulphur market forecasts
This year’s stand-out difference from the previous year’s Energy User Group Meeting, apart from the obvious Refinitiv change, was the wealth of industry voices. The afternoon streams featured powerful insights from our own analysts and guest speakers covering:
- Oil and shipping: Fuels beyond 2020
- Power and carbon: A constant flux
- Natural Gas: LNG the new oil?
We heard from Cüneyt Kazokoglu, Director of Long Term Oil Service & Head of Demand, FGE; Trevor Sikorski, Head of Natural Gas and Carbon Research, Energy Aspects; Jean-Christian Heintz, Founder & Director, Wideangle LNG; and Jonathan Saul, Senior Correspondent, Reuters.
The International Maritime Organization’s 0.5 percent global sulphur cap on fuel content from January 2020 (IMO 2020) was a major consideration across the oil and shipping forum.
Cüneyt revealed that just 20 percent of the total marine fleet consumes 80 percent of overall fuel, providing a good perspective on what the IMO 2020 regulations will mean for shippers, producers and refiners of oil.
Carbon price outlook
In the power stream, the volatility of this year’s carbon markets brought in a big crowd to hear about the detailed research of our team of carbon analysts on the fundamentals and scenarios impacting the carbon price. It appears some stability is returning, albeit with short term volatility.
The third stream benefited from the presence of our leading analysts on continental natural gas and LNG markets. There was insight on short-term supply/demand forecasts, as well as the longer-term picture.
This year’s re-launched Energy Interactive event sets us on the path towards a bold, focused and speedy approach to solving the challenges of our customers. They remain at the heart of all that we do.