CEO Roundtable: Which forces will shape the energy industry in 2020?

CEO Roundtable: Which forces will shape the energy industry in 2020?

Doha, December 2019


The Al-Attiyah Foundation hosts global experts to explore the question:

which forces will shape the energy industry in 2020?”


The Al-Attiyah Foundation hosted four global experts for its quarterly CEO Roundtable and Senior Managers Energy Dialogue at the St Regis Hotel, Doha, on 4th and 5th December 2019.  The highly interactive and content driven events allowed leaders from industry and academia to engage with international experts on the chosen theme: ‘’Exploring the 2019 forces shaping our 2020 outlook.”


It is apparent that 2020 will be an important year, as environmental impacts and regulation changes influence how the energy industry operates.  At the CEO Roundtable, I was pleased to host my peers and local leaders, once again, to discuss the challenges and focus for 2020 and beyond.”  commented His Excellency Dr Ibrahim Ibrahim, Vice-Chairman, Al-Attiyah Foundation.


To answer the questions on the top of everyone’s mind amongst the talk of a climate emergency and economic volatility, the four international guest speakers:  Jos Delbeke, Professor, The European Institute; Alan Gelder, VP Refining, Chemicals and Oil Markets, Wood Mackenzie;  Gulmira Rzayeva, Research Associate at the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies (OIES), and Wil Wilson, Security and Intelligence Specialist, Britain’s Royal Airforce shared their opinions on what lies ahead.


Jos Delbeke, was instrumental in setting the EU’s climate and energy targets for 2020 and 2030, and was a key player in developing EU legislation on the Emissions Trading System (ETS).  Jos expressed his opinion on climate targets: “what matters now on the climate field, is the implementation of the commitments taken under the Paris Agreement, rather than negotiating new targets.’’  Jos added: “the biggest ally for gas, if coal is its largest competitor, is a carbon price.


Gulmira Rzayeva, is a Research Associate at the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies (OIES).  She is also an expert advisor of the World Energy Council’s Global Gas Centre based in Geneva.  Gulmira expressed the need for long-term planning in the energy industry, considering the growing number of constraints, including increasingly complex fields, volatile crude oil and natural gas prices, as well as the need to address climate change.   Gulmira concluded that “the energy industry needs to take into account the changing landscape when planning long-term projects, and also build infrastructures that can support new types energy.’’


Throughout 2019, there was growing awareness that major changes in energy supply have to take place;  demand was dominated by inconclusive trade talks between the world’s two largest economies, China and the US; and events that would have once shocked markets, such as attacks on shipping or infrastructure, now have a far reduced effect - posing the question, has the world’s security of supply become more resilient?


Reflecting on the changes dominating the world, Alan Gelder, VP Refining, Chemicals and Oil Markets, Wood Mackenzie, stressed that “the climate emergency agenda has raised the profile of the energy transition. Investor attitudes are changing the behaviours of publicly listed integrated oil companies, resulting in a focus on the most productive and profitable products, and a shift in growth emphasis.”


H.E. Abdullah Bin Hamad Al-Attiyah founded the CEO Roundtables and Senior Managers Energy Dialogue Series as a platform for knowledge exchange and support for the global community in the quest towards a sustainable energy future.  The speakers’ views were captured in a whitepaper that will be made available to members.