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CERAWeek Update: Chevron CEO Says There’s No Oil, Gas Shortage & More

These translations are done via Google Translate
(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 is taking place 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.

Senator: Administration Split on Energy (6:40 pm)

U.S. Senator Daniel Sullivan, a Republican, said there’s “a battle within” the Biden administration over the issue of energy security. Citing what he says is the need for the U.S. to ramp up production to reduce its dependence on energy from Russia and other nations, Sullivan that some figures in the administration understand his position, while others, such as climate envoy John Kerry, are “hellbent on undermining” domestic production.

Instead of looking for production from Venezuela, Iran, Saudi Arabia, “let’s go home,” Sullivan said. “Let’s go to Texas, Alaska, North Dakota.”

Sullivan represents Alaska, which is the fourth-biggest domestic oil producer after Texas, New Mexico and North Dakota.

Chevron CEO Says There’s No Oil Shortage (4:50 pm)

Despite the huge price spikes seen in recent days, there’s no evidence of physical oil or gas shortages yet, according to Chevron Chief Executive Officer Mike Wirth.

“We’ve got enough oil in the world, we’ve got enough gas in the world,” but “it’s not necessarily flowing on the routes it did before,” he said. Russian oil will likely take alternate routes in a “reoptimization” of the energy system over the coming weeks and months, Wirth says.

Back home, Wirth encouraged the U.S. to adopt energy policies that balance security, affordability and lower carbon emissions. He says using taxes and subsidies to favor one form of energy over another is a failing proposition, citing California’s high energy costs as a consequence.

“Governments don’t have a great track record of picking winners,” Wirth said.

Biden Urged to Reach Out to Oil Industry (4:04pm)

The time has come for the Biden administration to restore U.S. ties with the oil industry, energy historian Daniel Yergin said.

Although President Joe Biden has directly asked OPEC+ to pump more crude to tame energy prices, he hasn’t made similar overtures to the explorers at home. But with prices now surging, the U.S. government needs to be able to work closely with producers to avoid what could become an emergency if the situation in Ukraine persists for another few weeks, Yergin said in a Bloomberg TV interview.

OPEC Says World Can’t Replace All Russian Exports (3:03pm)

The world doesn’t have enough oil-production capacity to replace Russia’s contribution to crude markets, said OPEC Secretary General Mohammad Barkindo.

Barkindo, speaking during a meeting with reporters, described Russia’s war against Ukraine as a “humanitarian tragedy.”

Oil Lobby Says Biden Administration Wrong on Permits (2:31pm)

The head of the biggest U.S. oil lobbying groups said the Biden administration is “misusing facts” when it claims the industry has more than 9,000 untapped federal drilling permits that could be used to boost supply and ease soaring prices.

Mike Sommers, the chief executive officer of the American Petroleum Institute, said the industry is using a higher percentage of federal onshore and offshore leases than at any time in the past, and it’s continuing to increase production. The Biden administration has repeatedly pointed to the number of approved but untapped drilling permits on federal land when questioned about how U.S. production can rise, and what the federal government can do to help.

“Just because you have a lease doesn’t mean there’s actually oil and gas in that lease, and there has to be a lot of development that occurs between the leasing and then ultimately permitting for that acreage to be productive,” Sommers said in an interview. “They’re purposefully misusing the facts here.”

Europe Will Accelerate Energy Transition (1:30pm)

Russia has plunged itself into the “Dark Age” by invading Ukraine, according to Marcel Van Poecke, the head of Carlyle International Energy Partners. Even without explicit sanctions “de facto it’s impossible to buy Russian [oil] products” because banks won’t supply letters of credit and insurers are unwilling to cover cargoes, he says. It’s only a matter of time before the same happens with gas, he said.

The end result is that Europe will accelerate the transition toward lower-carbon energy, he said.

Hackers Targeted U.S. LNG Producers (12:49pm)

Hackers gained access in mid-February to computers belonging to current and former employees at almost two dozen major natural gas suppliers and exporters, including Chevron Corp., Cheniere Energy Inc. and Kinder Morgan Inc., according to research shared exclusively with Bloomberg News.

The attacks targeted companies involved with the production of liquefied natural gas, or LNG, just before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The motive of the operation isn’t known, but the timing coincides with broader changes in the energy industry that have been accelerated by Russia’s war. The attack was likely carried out by state-sponsored hackers, according to Gene Yoo, chief executive officer of Los Angeles-based Resecurity Inc., which discovered the operation.

Colombian President Duque Touts Carbon Credits (12:14pm)

The Latin American country of Colombia weighed in on its latest efforts to help with the the energy transition, with 30% of its land being declared as a protected area this year, President Ivan Duque said Monday in a presentation at CERAWeek.

“That means that Colombia can be a very important player in the carbon credit market,” Duque said. “Many companies in Colombia and abroad can reach their carbon neutrality by purchasing those credits.”

Cheniere Says Existing LNG Capacity Sold Out Into the 2040s (11:42am)

Cheniere Energy Inc., the largest U.S. liquefied natural gas exporter, has sold out production from its existing facilities through the 2040s, 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.

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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 (11:13am)

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 Hit With Cyberattacks, Needs Biden Signal (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.

Rice also said that the U.S. energy industry needs a “political signal” from the Biden administration to ramp up oil and gas production and reduce the world’s dependence on Russian supplies.

While news that the While House is weighing a ban on crude imports from Russia is certainly a “recognition” from the Biden administration that U.S. drillers can help mitigate any impact on consumers, no direct dialog has been held with producers including EQT, he said.

“We need to build those pipelines faster and LNG facilities faster than we’ve ever done in the past,” Rice said. “We need a very simple political signal that natural gas is the energy of the future and that the U.S. has the ability and desire to help meet world demand.”

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.”

(A previous version of this story was corrected by Cheniere, changing the subhead and first paragraph of the section quoting its CEO to make clear that the sold-out production is from existing facilities and not its planned expansion.)

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