As exports of crude oil, natural gas and NGLs have surged, U.S. markets for these energy commodities have undergone radical transformations. Exports now dominate the supply/demand equilibrium. These markets simply would not clear at today’s production levels, much less at the volumes coming on over the next few years, if not for access to global markets. It is more important than ever to understand how the markets for crude, gas and NGLs are tied together, and how the interdependencies among the commodities will impact the future of energy supply, demand, exports and, ultimately, prices. Making sense of these energy market fundamentals is what RBN’s School of Energy is about. Warning! Today’s blog is a blatant commercial for our upcoming Houston conference. But we hope you will read on, because this time around, our curriculum includes all the topics we have always covered at School of Energy, PLUS five all-new sessions dedicated to export markets.
RBN School of Energy is Back!
It’s been more than 18 months since the last RBN School of Energy. Not because of any lack of need for energy fundamentals education, but instead because our team at RBN chose to focus our resources on two large-venue conferences, PermiCon (October 2018 –– all about the Permian) and xPortCon (May 2019 –– focused on exports). Those conferences were highly successful, with about 700 attendees each, providing the opportunity to get a lot of information out to a large audience. Some might say like drinking from a firehose.
So as Rod Stewart likes to say, it is really time to be back at school. Back to a more structured learning experience. And that is just what we will be doing October 15-17, 2019 –– back to the Houstonian Hotel in Houston for a new, updated School of Energy designed for these extraordinary times.
If you are not familiar with RBN’s School of Energy, the conference is structured more like a classroom experience, where we work through current developments in some aspect of the market and then examine them in the context of Excel models that grapple with a wide range of issues including production economics, production forecasting, crack and frac spreads, gas processing economics, ethane rejection, petrochemical feedstock selection and all sorts of similar topics. These models are much like what we’ve used in past Schools, except they have all been updated and upgraded. Likewise, the course content follows the same themes we write about each day in the blog, namely that the relationships among the energy commodities have changed … such that the markets for natural gas, NGLs and crude oil are tied together in ways that are shifting dramatically due to the dominant role of exports today. School of Energy 2019 is designed to integrate your knowledge of these three commodities with hands-on, practical instruction and training.
See the School of Energy page on RBN's website for more information, and to download a brochure with detailed course content and syllabus.
We also have reorganized our School of Energy content to make it easier to focus on what’s most relevant to you. Day 1 is Energy Market Fundamentals (EMF), and covers the basics of energy fundamentals analysis, including terminology, market evolution, the nuts-and-bolts of oil and gas production, the pipeline transportation grids, natural gas processing, demand sectors and the essentials of spot markets and trading. This day is optional. You can register for EMF only, you can skip EMF altogether, or register for EMF along with the remainder of the conference. Five Excel models are included with the EMF sessions.
In Day 2, we cover all of the current developments in U.S. crude oil, natural gas and NGL markets. In the morning plenary session, we review RBN’s forecasts for crude, gas and NGL markets, examining supply/demand balances, infrastructure constraints, and pricing differentials. The afternoon splits into three tracks, with one focusing on the most important market issues in each of the commodity groups; the other two tracks focus on specific models –– how to use them and interpret their results. So, to be clear, you can attend either one of two Excel model tracks, or skip the models and attend more lecture/discussion sessions.
Finally, in Day 3 we focus on exports and international markets, considering export dock capacity, export economic relationships and destination markets. Day 3 will also provide the opportunity for you to catch up with modeling sessions that you were not able to attend on Day 2.
But that’s not all! We are honored that astronaut Terry Virts will join us as our luncheon keynote speaker on Day 1. Colonel Virts is a U.S. Air Force test/fighter pilot and NASA veteran of two space flights –– a two-week mission onboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour in 2010 and a 200-day flight as commander of the Space Station in 2014-15. He is a celebrated thought leader, speaker and author who is currently working on multiple projects, including a new book and television series. He also is an avid reader of the RBN blog!! Terry will speak about his missions and how principles from space travel and the U.S. space program are applicable to today’s energy markets. Following his remarks, I will join Terry on stage to discuss the intersections between space travel and energy.