World Bank Institute Learning Symposium: Governance of Unconventional Gas: Exploring How to Deliver Transparent Benefits in Non-OECD Countries
18 March 2014
Update June 2014: OGEL 3 (2014) Published - You can read "Towards a Roadmap for Governance of Unconventional Gas: A Multidimensional Challenge" by M. Jarvis (World Bank Insitute)
Governance of Unconventional Gas:
Exploring How to Deliver Transparent Benefits in Non-OECD Countries
World Bank Headquarters, Washington DC, 2-3 June, 2014
The "shale gas revolution" in the US has led to an explosion of interest around the world in shale gas and, to a lesser extent, in tight gas and coal-bed methane. Recent estimates point to the large potential for unconventional gas development in a growing list of countries, including South Africa, Botswana, Mexico, Brazil, China, Algeria and the Ukraine. Poland and the UK have championed active exploration. Unconventional gas is seen as a relatively clean source of energy and as presenting an opportunity for enhanced security and diversity of supply.
Unconventional gas raises its own set of risks that need to be weighed against economic opportunity. Some impacts are specific to hydraulic fracturing, some common to all forms of unconventional gas, such as around land and water use. Especially in countries where gas prices are controlled, where the interests of both state-owned and international operators are at play, and where supply chains may be inadequate, much will be need to promote unconventional gas development for sustainable impacts. Successful industry development will require political and public support and effective management of those risks. Yet these risks are not yet well understood and have not been mapped effectively for non-OECD contexts. Good governance frameworks will be essential to ensure positive long-term outcomes, balancing risks and promotion. Given the different financial and operating model for unconventional gas, simply relying on existing governance structures from more traditional extractive industries is unlikely to be effective.
This learning symposium will be the first to focus on these governance considerations with a view to ensuring unconventional gas is an effective contributor to sustainable growth and development in non-OECD contexts. It will build upon new research, with a focus on articles from the forthcoming special issue of the Oil, Gas and Energy Law Intelligence on "The governance of unconventional gas exploitation outside the United States". Combining synthesis with country case studies, authors will introduce their insights first hand and advance copies of the articles will be made available to workshop participants for review.
The learning symposium will be organized jointly by the World Bank Institute and the Oil, Gas and Energy Law Intelligence with additional support from the Journal of World Energy Law and Business.
The objectives of the workshop are:
- To connect diverse experts working on unconventional gas and on good governance issues across organizations.
- To begin to build common understanding of the current status of unconventional gas development in new producer countries and governance implications. This will include insights into emerging producer experiences of unconventional gas development (drawing in addition on lessons from the US experience as applicable).
- To identify and articulate opportunities for further research, capacity building and action.
- The group will also explore options for continuing to link researchers and practitioners, including the potential for a community of practice focused on governance issues around unconventional gas development.
The symposium will primarily target development practitioners, academics and researchers working on governance and/or unconventional gas issues.
The two day symposium will combine presentation of cutting edge research with group discussion. Participants will conduct a preliminary scoping of governance issues associated with unconventional gas development and collective prioritization of knowledge gaps. Investigation of cross cutting issues will be balanced with country case studies. There will be a strong focus on exchanging learning and insights across individuals and organizations.
 Oil, Gas and Energy Law Intelligence; "The governance of unconventional gas exploitation outside the United States" edited by Dr. Philip Andrews-Speed of the Energy Studies Institute, National University of Singapore (Spring 2014).
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