"The secret of success is to know something nobody else knows"

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Meeting: April 5, 2016: Europe as a new frontier for American oil and gas exports — will it create a new game in global energy?

The Brussels Energy Club is pleased to announce that it co-hosted a partner meeting and roundtable expert discussion with the Houston Energy Club in Texas, USA, where the following topic was debated and discussed:  


Europe as a new frontier for American oil and gas exports — will it create a new game in global energy? 


This special event took place on Tuesday 5 April 2016, 5 pm — 8.30 pm @ The Houston Club, 910 Louisiana Street, One Shell Plaza Suite 4900, HOUSTON, TEXAS 77002, USA


The event envisaged a robust participant discussion about the prospects of US oil and gas exports for Europe in light of the recent lifting of sanctions on such exports. For the longer term, such meetings aim to establish a meaningful and ongoing dialogue between high level energy industry representatives from both sides of the Atlantic. 


Opening remarks kick-starting the discussion:

Dr. Marat Terterov, Executive Director, Brussels Energy Club

Dr. Francesco Stipo, President, Houston Energy Club & Global Energy Associate, Brussels Energy Club


With further contributions from special guest speakers:

Corey Grindal, Vice President of Supply, Cheniere Energy,

Wim Groenendijk, President, LNG Europe, Vice President for International Government Affairs, Gasunie,

Michael Moore, Vice President of Energy Commodities and Advisory Services, FearnOil Inc.

Rob Smith, Chief of Staff, Office of Fossil Energy, U.S. Department of Energy, Washington DC

Steve Nicandros, Chairman of the Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer, Frontera Resources, Houston

Jimmy Straughan, Chief Commercial Officer, BP, LNG Americas organization, Houston



In Europe, policy shapers want it to happen. Furthermore, in light of the Continent's energy security trepidations with "certain third countries", many literally expect it to happen. But now that the 40-year-old ban on US oil exports has been lifted, will Europe become a new frontier for American oil and gas exports? The European Commission in Brussels, with its Energy Union project blanketing the continent, is seeking to build a European energy market based around the pillars of diversification, security of supply and de-carbonisation. The first two elements of this strategy should now be a case of "music to the ears" of US hydrocarbons producers, given the political support that exists in Europe for the prospect of American energy deliveries as part of our mantra of the diversification of supply. Indeed, given our shared values on either side of the Atlantic, we in Europe are conditioned to think that American energy exports can go a long way in mitigating our multiple energy security concerns.

Neither values, nor pre-conditioned mind-sets, are sufficient to build a thriving trans-Atlantic oil and gas trade, however. The "invisible hand" will also play a role. In fact pricing, supply chains and FIDs into infrastructure enhancement will arguably play the key role. Despite the abundance of hydrocarbons produced in the US since the onset of the "shale revolution", and a regulatory green light for their export abroad, US energy producers will have to compete hard with Europe's existing energy suppliers. Europe's incumbent suppliers, while not always in favour politically in Brussels, continue to hold no shortage of aces up their sleeve, particularly if a future trans-Atlantic energy trade is to be governed by markets just as much as it will be shaped by politics. Energy is one of those quintessential sectors of the global economy that we tend to see no less through the prism of policy, rather that purely through a market lens, however, so this debate is only starting.

As for the question of whether Europe will now emerge as a new frontier for US oil and gas exports, in light of the lifting of the US oil export ban, thank you for joining us at the Houston Club on April 5. Leading corporate members of the Brussels Energy Club, representing a wide spectrum of Europe's energy industry, spelled out their verdict on the debate, and also assessed whether the emergence of a trans-Atlantic energy trade will have game changing implications for global energy markets. The combined meeting of the Brussels and Houston Energy Clubs on April 5 was a unique opportunity to exchange views with leading players in the field and obtain real insights on a topic that is likely to set the tone for the trans-Atlantic energy business for a generation. 


Program April 5, 2016: 17.00 — 20.30:

  • Arrival of members and guests leading into welcome cocktail    
  • Welcoming remarks by Dr Marat Terterov, Executive Director, Brussels Energy Club and Dr Francesco Stipo, President, Houston Energy Club
  • Presentations by special guest speakers, Corey Grindal and Wim Groenendijk
  • Roundtable-style moderated conversation with meeting participants
  • Event photograph and separate interviews with US media outlets
  • Supper buffet reception and networking opportunities with the speakers will follow the interactive discussions


Speaker information

J. Corey Grindal is vice president of supply at Cheniere Energy. Grindal joined Cheniere in 2013 and is responsible for the gas and power supply at the Cheniere facilities. This includes acquiring and managing transportation capacity, enabling and managing the relationships with suppliers and markets, buying and hedging the required commodity, and managing any load disruptions. He has more than 20 years of experience in engineering and project management, operations, energy trading and risk management. Prior to joining Cheniere, Grindal was with Deutsche Bank managing physical and financial trading for their natural gas business. Prior to Deutsche Bank, he worked with Louis Dreyfus and the Tenneco/ El Paso regulated natural gas pipelines (Tennessee Gas Pipeline, Southern Natural Gas, and ANR Pipeline).

Wim GroenendiikWim Groenendijk is the Vice President for International Affairs and Regulation at N.V. Nederlandse Gasunie, a leading gas infrastructure company in Europe. Mr. Groenendijk is also a Member of the Management Board of Gas Infrastructure Europe and President of Gas LNG Europe, two Brussels-based industry associations representing the interests of gas infrastructure companies. From 2010 to 2012 he served as a Founding Member of the Management Board of ENTSOG, the European Network for Transmission System Operators for Gas, a body established through the European Union's Third Energy Package with certain legal tasks, including the development of Network Codes and a Ten-Year Network Development Plan. Before joining Gasunie in 2007 Mr. Groenendijk worked for Shell International for 17 years in various roles in exploration and production, including in LNG for 5 years at the Australian North West Shelf Project. He holds a PhD in Applied Mathematics.

Michael MooreMichael Moore is the Vice President of Energy Commodities and Advisory Services for FearnOil Inc., a Houston-based division of the Norwegian firm Astrup-Fea rnley based in Oslo.  Mr. Moore works on development of energy resources and commodities, CO2-EOR, CCUS, infrastructure, technology advancement and related advisory services as well as related energy advocacy work in policy/regulations at Federal and State levels.  In addition to FearnOil Inc., Mr. Moore is the Executive Director of The North American Carbon Capture Storage Association (NACCSA) in Washington, DC since 2008.  He has more than 30 years of energy (oil, gas, coal, power, CO2, carbon) experience in brokering, marketing, business development and strategy. 

December 2015 was awarded the Royal Norwegian Order of Merit by the King Harald V Norway.

Rob SmithRob Smith currently serves as the Chief of Staff for the United States Department of Energy"s Office of Fossil Energy. In this capacity, Mr. Smith assists the Assistant Secretary with policy and management issues across the office"s research and development, energy security, and regulatory missions.  Previously, Mr. Smith was the Director of Planning and Administration in the Office of Oil & Natural Gas. 
Before joining the Department of Energy, Mr. Smith worked as a program analyst in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, a manager at Deloitte Consulting, and an infantry officer in the U.S. Army.  Mr. Smith holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the United States Military Academy and completed a Master of Science degree in Economics from the University of Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar.  

Mr. NicandrosMr. Nicandros is a founder of Frontera Resources Corporation and currently serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer.

At Frontera's founding, Mr. Nicandros initially organized the company and directed its initial growth initiatives in Eastern Europe and South America as President while also serving as an executive member of the board of directors.  In 1997 he became Chief Executive Officer and, in 2002 was named Chairman of the Board of Directors.  Throughout this time, he evolved the company's Greater Black Sea strategy to primarily focus Frontera's activities in the emerging markets of Eastern Europe.

Prior to Frontera's founding in 1996, Mr. Nicandros was employed by Conoco Inc. where he served as President of Conoco Overseas Oil Company and was responsible for Conoco's worldwide development of upstream new business and mergers and acquisitions. Between 1992 and 1994, Mr. Nicandros was Conoco's Manager of Reserve Acquisitions and Asset Management, following which he became Manager of Upstream Commercial Development.  He began his career in the oil industry in 1982 with Conoco Inc.

Mr. Nicandros graduated from Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas in 1982 with a B.S. degree in political science.  He currently serves on the board of directors of Washington D.C based Atlantic Council, and; serves on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Energy, Clean Air and Natural Resources Committee. As well as The Chamber's U.S. Ukraine Business Forum Committee for the Advocacy of The Economic Revival of Ukraine.

Jimmy StraughanJimmy Straughan is the Chief Commercial Officer of BP"s LNG Americas organization.  He is responsible for business development activities throughout the Americas and he is a member of BP"s global LNG leadership team.   He currently serves on the board of directors for the Center of LNG (CLNG). 

Jimmy has over 30 years of experience in the oil & gas industry and has been focused on LNG for the past 15 years.             Prior to returning to the US, Jimmy served as Vice President of Marketing for BP in Indonesia.  He has a Chemical Engineering degree from Texas A&M University. 



Francesco StipoFrancesco Stipo  is a lawyer, author and energy expert. Born in Italy in 1973, Dr. Stipo is a naturalized United States citizen. He holds a Ph.D. in International Law and a Master Degree in Comparative Law from the University of Miami. He published several articles and op-eds in American journals and newspapers and is frequently invited to speak on energy and international affairs by organizations such as the Energy Charter (Industry Advisory Panel), the Organization of American States and the East-West Center. Dr. Stipo is President Emeritus of the United States Association of the Club of Rome, the American branch of a global think tank. He is a member of the Atlantic Council of the United States and the National Press Club in Washington D.C. In 2012 he was elected as a Fellow of the World Academy of Art and Science for his contribution in the field of global governance. In 2014 he was invited to join the Bretton Woods Committee, an organization composed of leading bankers and experts who support international financial institutions. Since 1999 Dr. Stipo has worked as an international legal advisor specializing in energy transactions and company acquisitions. Dr. Stipo assists European companies in negotiating sale and purchase agreements with American LNG suppliers and gives advice on investments in U.S. liquefaction plants. He holds substantial international experience in the field of global LNG.

Marat TerterovDr Marat Terterov is the Principal Coordinator of the Energy Charter Secretariat, an international energy security organisation created during the mid-1990s for the purpose of promoting trade and investment in the energy sectors of some 50 countries in Eurasia. Based on the legally binding Energy Charter Treaty of 1994, the Energy Charter today strives to become an organisation with more global reach, predominantly working to promote and protect energy investments in the territories of its member states and beyond. Dr Terterov"s work at the Secretariat is predominantly political in nature, where he lends direct support to the Secretary General in high level relationship management with member and observer governments of the Energy Charter Conference predominantly in the Middle East and former-Soviet Union. He is also the Head of the Energy Charter Knowledge Centre, the internal think tank and communications division of the Secretariat. Terterov is also the Founder and Executive Director of the Brussels Energy Club, an NGO organising regular informal discussions with high level energy executives and government officials from around the world. He also founded the European Geopolitical Forum website and research network of experts engaged in sensitive debates on Eurasian geopolitics. Dr Terterov received his education in Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom, and holds a D.Phil. (PhD) in Middle Eastern politics from St. Antony's College, Oxford University (obtained in 2002). He has well over 20 years professional experience working with Russia, the former-Soviet Union and the Middle East in the domain of energy, investment, business development, security, geopolitics and government relations. He speaks English and Russian fluently, while also being conversational in Egyptian Arabic and having very basic knowledge of French.


Further information

Participation in the interactive discussion will be free of charge for members and guests of the Brussels Energy Club. For more information please contact Martin Minarik on industry@brusselsenergyclub.org and/or Ben McPherson on research@brusselsenergyclub.org, or visit the contacts section of our website.

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