PE Live: The Debates: Are majors an enemy (or saviour) of the transition?

Many oil & gas majors have embraced the energy transition but this could prove a double-edged sword for the renewables industry. Majors’ massive balance sheets and mega-project management skills mean they are ideally placed to scale up new energy systems—but they also have vested interests and are able to distort nascent markets.

This roundtable was hosted by Peter Ramsay, Editor-in-chief, PE Media Network.

The panel discuss:
- How do oil majors square the circle between previous IRRs of 20pc+ and move into new businesses that do not offer these returns?
- Will competition for assets exacerbate this by pushing returns even lower?
- What advantages do the size of majors’ balance sheets convey on them?
- Are those advantages diluted if ESG-focused investors reject their hybrid model of ongoing hydrocarbons profits financing a pivot to renewables?
- Does the entrance of majors accelerate the energy transition or simply change the ownership of projects and initiatives that would have happened anyway?
- How much of the majors’ activities will be organic compared to via acquisition?

Jean-Charles Papeians, Head of Liquefaction, TotalEnergies
Bart Doyle, Group COO and Executive Director, Mainstream Renewable Power
Rajat Katyal, Managing Director and Head of EMEA Oil and Gas Investment Banking, HSBC

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