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Baker Botts discusses the future of Oil, Gas and LNG at 2017 Oil Council Assembly

HONG KONG, January 16, 2017 - The oil and gas industry in Asia is showing signs of recovery, following an unprecedented two-year downturn marked by low oil prices, major divestment and infrastructure refocusing in the midstream, and decreased capital expenditure in upstream projects. 

Industry experts and Baker Botts’ professionals will share their personal insights on the major issues facing the oil and gas sector in the Asia Pacific region, and examine how energy producers are revising their business strategies to regain market share on The Energy Producers Panel at The Oil & Gas Council, Asia-Pacific Assembly in Raffles City Convention Centre, Singapore on Wednesday, January 18, 2017. 

“Energy leaders are adopting a cautious mindset of recovery and looking at how to make the most of new opportunities in the oil and gas sector. Although oil price dynamics continue to remain uncertain and volatile, prices are now rising following the deal by OPEC and other aligned countries to cut 1.2 million b/d from global oil production. As a result, upstream and midstream projects are expected to attract higher investments, not just by the traditional players, but increasingly in Southeast Asia by more agile independent players who are finding new avenues to reenter the market,”said Michael Arruda, Partner in Charge, Baker Botts, Asia. 

Russell Wilkinson, Partner in the Firm’s Energy Practice

in Hong Kong, notes that, "The improvement of natural gas prices, as well as a growing acknowledgement of the environmental consequences of increasing energy consumption across Asia, will have positive effects on the LNG side of the industry." Industry analysts also expect annual LNG production in Asia to grow by 16% and reach 127 million metric tons per year in 2017. Wilkinson sees opportunity in particular for small scale LNG and floating solutions across the region. 

Joanne Du, Partner in the firm's Energy Practice, whose practice focuses on the representation of Chinese oil companies and investments, commented, “China is seeing a surge of privately owned enterprises that are looking for (and finding) opportunities in an improving energy sector, both in China and overseas. These new companies are taking advantage of the optimistic signs of recovery and using their tenacity to make acquisitions that their SOE counterparts have yet to pursue.” 

Michael Arruda concludes by saying that: "No discussion of our energy in the future could be complete without an acknowledgement of the increasing role of renewables in the energy mix. Perhaps the best example in Asia is China, which is increasingly turning to renewables, such as wind, hydropower and solar, and plans to invest $360 bln in renewable energy generation by 2020. Infrastructure and financing challenges will still be the most daunting prospect for many in 2017, but companies and countries will also need to invest in these growth sectors if they are to remain relevant in the longer-term.” 

The Panel 

The Energy Producers Panel; Revised Business Strategies, Regaining Market Share and Competitiveness Beyond the Downturn: How Will New Investment vs. New Divestment Pan Out in APAC? 

Panelists include: 
  • Dr. Bakheet Al Katheeri, Chief Growth Officer and Acting COO, Mubadala Petroleum 
  • Peter Botten, Managing Director, Oil Search 
  • Melody Meyers, President, Melody Meyers Energy and Former President, Asia-Pacific, Chevron 
  • Franco Polo, Executive Vice President, APAC, Eni 
  • Scott Darling, Head, Oil & Gas Research (APAC), J.P. Morgan 
  • Michael Arruda, Partner In Charge, Asia, Baker Botts (session moderator)
For more information and to register, please click here

Michael Arruda, Russell Wilkinson and Joanne Du are available to discuss the major implications for energy businesses of the recovery in the Asia market. 


Baker Botts is an international law firm of approximately 700 lawyers practicing throughout a network of 13 offices around the globe. Based on our experience and knowledge of our clients' industries, we are recognized as a leading firm in the energy, technology, and life sciences sectors. Since 1840, we have provided creative and effective legal solutions for our clients while demonstrating an unrelenting commitment to excellence. For more information, please visit


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