Big questions centre stage as experts debate the politics of oil and gas

Big questions centre stage as experts debate the politics of oil and gas

What should be done with the profits of oil and gas? What should be the future of the oil and gas workforce? How can oil and gas production be best reconciled with care for the environment?

Former UK Energy Minister Charles Hendry will be among the speakers at the public conference hosted by the University of Aberdeen this week on Politics of Oil & Gas in a Changing UK: International Dimensions.

Mr Hendry, who is now the Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Kazakhstan will compare UK energy policy to that of the Caspian countries. He will join a host of other speakers at the two-day event on 8-9 May including Scotland’s Shadow Energy Minister Tom Greatrex,  Oil & Gas UK CEO Malcolm Webb, and RMT Regional Organiser Jake Molloy.

Issues to be debated include the role of oil and gas in the Scottish Independence debate, fiscal policy and the use of oil and gas revenue, environmental risks and renewables, health and safety (especially relevant in this Piper Alpha anniversary year), and the UK’s global responsibilities in oil and gas.

Although focused on the UK, the conference will bring to bear international perspectives. Professor Helge Ryggvik of the University of Oslo will discuss the relevance of the Norwegian model, Fernanda Wanderley (University of Mayor de San Andres) will speak about Bolivia and Brazil, Anna Zalik (University of York, Canada) about Mexico, Nigeria and Canada, and Simon Pirani (Oxford Institute of Energy Studies) about Kazakhstan. Barnaby Briggs (Shell International) will debate the role of corporate social responsibility (CSR) in Nigeria with Professor George Frynas (Middlesex University) - a prominent critic of CSR.

Conference organiser Dr Trevor Stack of the University of Aberdeen says: “A myriad of debates are raging on the future of oil and gas, across industry, government, social and political organisations, and universities. Our goal is to connect up all these debates, and we are proud to have brought together an extraordinarily wide range of speakers. Much of the conference however will be given over to public discussion, and we are just as keen to attract a vocal audience and to make them feel comfortable speaking from the floor.”

For details and to register, please go to

The two-day event is being organised by the University’s Centre for Citizenship, Civil Society and the Rule of Law (CISRUL).