BP Energy Statistical Review 2017

Last Tuesday, 13 June 2017 I had an opportunity to attend the BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2017 launching in BP office in London. I am always interested in reading either BP’s energy outlook or statistical review every year, merely based on my curiosity on how the big fossil fuel players see their business in the future. Compared to a neutral organization like Bloomberg or International Energy Agency, there are some distinct points on big energy* companies’ energy outlook seeing the market share of fossil fuel in the future. They tend to overlook the share of fossil fuel in the future primary energy supply, prefer to underestimate the growth of renewable and alternative energy source other than fossil fuel. Starting from the fact that nobody can predict the future with their outlook, the move makes very sensible motives of the big energy company to favor the optimism of big fossil fuel share since that is the value of their business. The outlook might ensure their stakeholders that everything in the business is still good at least until next twenty years, as most outlook now predict the condition in 2040.

*Now the big oil companies tend to call themselves by energy company in order to remove the trademark of fossil fuel producer, even though the majority of their portfolio is still in oil and gas industry.

The opening speech was done by Lamar McKay, one of BP Deputy Group Chief Executive. He emphasized on the declining coal usage in power industry, the stagnation of carbon emission, and the strategy to achieve the emission commitment as declared in COP20 at Paris. Shortly, he also mentioned briefly about BP’s strategy on surviving the energy industry by altering their upstream investment in the gas field and strengthening their presence in the downstream industry as lube producers. Especially, he mentioned about six from seven major projects in upstream sector are gas field drilling to justify their strategy on prioritizing gas-related investment. Natural gas is the cleanest fossil fuel compared to the others, especially coal as it emits around two times carbon than natural gas. Most people believed that natural gas is the bridge fuel for the transition from fossil fuel dominated power sector into the renewable energy powered.

The main talk was delivered by Spencer Dale, the chief economist of BP. Two main points that he emphasised were the short run adjustment and long run transition of world energy. Some issues in energy that he talked about are the resilience of tight oil that play an important part in the oil market and the unwillingness of OPEC to cut production in November 2014 when oil price started to crash. OPEC’s power to handle the market crash seemed unapparent, so the result of the event was the permanent shock and the long-term structural imbalance of the oil market. OPEC can do temporary adjustment to the stock of oil in order to stabilize the market. But no one knows what will be the stability price of oil in the next 5 or 10 years.

Natural gas, despite the expected prospect as new fuel to replace coal in power generation showed positive but slow growth. The number of gas trade through long-term contract decreased, as more short-term and small size contract became more prevalent. Added by prospect of LNG and USA shale gas capacity, gas market is expected to grow more competitive where LNG might plays an important part.

Renewables will only contributing up to 4% of primary energy supply despite its unexpected fast growth in power generation sectors due to falling cost of solar and wind energy. However, the variability of renewable power still very dependable on weather condition in the location which makes it less reliable to provide big share in the power supply. There was a question during the Q&A session that argued that the lack of renewable growth is in implication of not high enough carbon tax. It is still debatable about renewables, about what can drive more renewables penetrating the energy market. Spencer opined that price will be the deciding factor, and the way you drive the prices are numerous. However, which one will be effective is still debatable.

It was such a valuable experience for me, being the students amongst all professional with suits from a different background. Some are market analyst and trader, some are consultants, and some come from academics. The presence of fossil fuel industry is unexpectedly still very prominent in the energy industry, hence I am curious and excited for the energy industry transition that may happen in the near future.

Application for Imperial College London – MSc in Sustainable Energy Futures 2016

Hi there, I want to share about my application process for Postgraduate program at Imperial College London. Hope this post enlighten your mind about applying for Imperial MSc program. I will tell the story in chronological order.

8 February – 1 March 2016

I started studying about Imperial College since 2015 and applying for the program on 8 February 2016. You can scrutinize the program description in the website. They made the program handbook, course description, program specification, and the FAQ available for download. SEF also has released a blog at http://energyfutureslab.wordpress.com where students and lab members write their opinion and story. You can also request a prospectus to Imperial Graduate Admissions to learn more about the postgraduate program. All aplication for Imperial College London made via the online admission system.

The MSc in Sustainable Energy Futures program itself had opened the application since late 2015. However the deadline for application is 31 March 2016. The deadline means you have to complete the application documents not late than the specified date. The application documents include two letter of recommendations, only if both LoR are submitted and accepted then the application status would change into completed. Please mind the uncertainty for letter of recommendation submission from your reference so your application would complete in time. Mind that this program is quite competitive, every year around 50 students accepted amongst around 350 applicants from all over the world. Timing is vital, the early you applied, the success chance is higher than later application. I completed my application on 1 March 2016 because my second recommendation came at 1 March, even all application form had been filled and first recommendation already given. I waited almost one month just for recommendation. Luckily I still have time before the deadline application day.

When you apply using the online application, you should get a CID (College Identification) Number as log in ID in Imperial College Student e-services website. Activate your account and make a password. You can save your progress while filling the forms and continue whenever you want. You cannot continue further if the required box still not filled. If you have completed the application, you can monitor the progress using student e-services web. However if the decision has been made, you should get a notification in your email. I got an email on 11 April 2016 (about 5 weeks from the completion of application) for the decision notification. Later I found out I was conditionally accepted for the MSc program. You should respond to the offer whether to accept or defer it.

11 April 2016 – Decision on the application

How to change the conditional offer to unconditional?

In the student e-services site, there should be a list of outstanding* items need to be submitted to ICL. In normal case, they might ask for proof of bachelor completion alongside the academic transcript. They also might require a deposit to be made, however this can be substituted by letter of guarantee or letter of scholarship. In my case as Indonesia Endowment Fund for Education, I submitted a LOS and it worked as a magic. I need only to submit the bachelor certificate and academic trancript by air mail. I was using Indonesia mail service, EMS POS Indonesia to transfer the documents. The damage cost was only around 300 thousand IDR. Just for information, using DHL services might costed around 600 thousand IDR.

For LPDP awardee or any of you intending to attend ICL as LPDP awardee, I suggest to apply for ICL after you got the LOS from LPDP. In some case, ICL is strict about deposit payment. It would be better if you already have the LOS to guarantee your payment, so deposit does not need to be made. I apply for LPDP in January 2016 and accepted in March 2016. The timing was just perfect for me.

*They require me to send the original documents, however after consult with my fellow friend I decided to send the copy documents with legalized stamp. The registry did not complaint and 1 day after the arrival of documents, my status altered to unconditionally accepted.

What to do after I unconditionally accepted?

You might prepare the documents needed for visa application. It depends on your country, should you see the visa and immigrations of UK website about that. I got a long period of waiting my CAS* number to be generated by ICL because regarding to the course starting date at 1 October 2016, CAS will not be generated early than 1 July 2016. In a period of time between late April 2016 until July 2016, I could only prepare for documents for visa application waiting on the CAS to come. If you need a Letter of Acceptance, just contact the registry for your study program and soon it will be sent to you. However you should on unconditional offer to have that.

*CAS is Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies, required to make UK Visa Tier 4 type. It accounts for 30 points in your total visa points of 40. The other 10 accounts for maintenance fee during your study in UK.

For any of you applying for the ICL postgrad program, I wish you good luck!