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GEM alumnus joins world’s most influential decision makers at Oil & Money Conference

November 21, 2014
Total CEO Patrick Pouyanne  (right) and the Leaders for Tomorrow Delegates, appear on stage during the INYT/Energy Intelligence Oil & Money Conference - Day 2 on October 30, 2014 in London, England.  (Photo by Anthony Harvey/Getty Images for The New York Times)

Total CEO Patrick Pouyanne (right) and the Leaders for Tomorrow Delegates, appear on stage during the INYT/Energy Intelligence Oil & Money Conference – Day 2 on October 30, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Anthony Harvey/Getty Images for The New York Times)

Chris Longwell, a Global Energy Management Program alumnus, recently joined the world’s most influential decision makers for two days of high-level discussion and debate on the crucial issues facing the international energy sector.

The most frequently discussed topic at the Oil & Money Conference was the rapid increase in U.S. oil production and its resulting effect upon the world oil market, Longwell said. “Surprisingly enough, many executives in companies (and OPEC) thought the shale revolution in the U.S. was media hype and wouldn’t amount to much and now they are realizing its true impact on the U.S. and the rest of the world.”

He also said it was fascinating to hear about the Mexican Government opening its energy industry to the rest of the world after 75 years of seclusion.

The Oil & Money Conference, organized jointly by the International New York Times and Energy Intelligence, has a proud 35-year history of bringing together leaders in the worlds of energy and finance to network with other influential peers, exchange expert insights, and develop strategies & solutions for the most pressing energy issues.

There are several takeaways from the conference for Longwell, particularly in regards to the individuals he encountered.

“I found they were much better dressed than I was, so I came away with a strong desire to upgrade my wardrobe,” he joked. “I also realized that at the top of some of the worlds largest oil and gas companies, there are very different opinions of how the market will change and how they are adapting to those changes. ENI was focusing solely on their high-risk, high reward offshore exploration whereas Statoil and BP took the stance of ‘Diversify into Unconventionals or Die.’ ”

Longwell also noted that environmental activists were present at the conference.

“Protestors made it past the metal detectors during the conference and threw little electric sirens into the room, yelling something about oil and rape,” he said. “They didn’t time it very well as it was during a break and no one was speaking.”

This photo of Chris Longwell was taken at Stonehenge, a prehistoric monument located in Wiltshire, England.

This photo of Chris Longwell was taken at Stonehenge, a prehistoric monument located in Wiltshire, England.

Longwell, a Senior Drilling Engineer at Santos Limited in their Offshore Australia Team, and was a member of GEM’s Cohort IV. While he was student, he was offered his current international position. The hybrid-online delivery that GEM offers allowed Longwell to accept this position and earn his graduate degree. He has held many engineering roles spanning the life cycle of oil & gas including exploration, production, and abandonment.

He has worked in the oil & gas industry for 11 years in locations across the United States, China, Vietnam, Tajikistan, and onshore & offshore Australia.

Longwell received a scholarship that was available to alumni upon nomination from the GEM Program. The Oil & Money Conference took place from October 29-30 at The InterContinental, Park Lane, London. The Oil & Money Conference scholarship included economy airline travel, hotel accommodations for a two-night stay, admission to the Oil & Money Conference, and the Petroleum Executive of the Year Dinner.

“The conference gave me an opportunity to interact with executives, economists, and Investors, which is a much different crowd than the usual technical conferences I attend,” Longwell said. “It broadened my view of the industry and increased my understanding of some of the issues driving major decisions.”

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