32nd USAEE/IAEE North American Conference - Anchorage, Alaska: July 28-31, 2013




Roger Marks

General Program Co-Chair

(Anchorage, AK)

(Photo courtesy Northern Gas Pipelines)

The summer of 2013 will be an extraordinary opportunity for USAEE members. Our 32nd North American Conference will be held in Anchorage Alaska, July 28-31, 2013 at the Hotel Captain Cook.  This year's conference will provide for many what may be a once in a lifetime opportunity to visit not only one of the great energy producing areas in North America, but one of the most beautiful places on earth!The theme of the conference is Industry Meets Government: Impact on Energy Use and Development.

32nd USAEE/IAEE North American Conference

Roger Marks

General Program Co-Chair


(Photo courtesy Northern Gas Pipelines)

Mt. McKinley in Denali National Park, the tallest peak in North America at 20,328 feet, is a 5-hour drive from Anchorage.


The theme of this year's conference is Industry Meets Government: Impact on Energy Use and Development. In the spirit of the theme the conference epigram is from John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge's The Company: A Short History of a Revolutionary Idea:

"To keep on doing business, the modern company still needs a franchise from society, and the terms of that franchise still matter enormously."[1]


As the global economy follows a precarious path to full recovery, the challenge of meeting growing energy needs in an increasingly volatile world with finite resources becomes ever more urgent. All parties – from governments and non-governmental organizations to energy producers and consumers – have a stake in fostering smarter energy development and use that minimizes adverse environment effects and consumer costs. The 32nd USAEE/IAEE North American Conference will address the issues, challenges, and opportunities of industry-government relations as the stakeholders strive to meet their respective goals for commerce and society.

Ten plenary sessions are currently being developed. These include:


1. Energy Development in the Arctic

This session focuses on the geopolitical aspects of Arctic Offshore energy development. Important issues included potential energy resources of the Arctic Offshore, competing claims to the Outer Continental Shelf, the Law of the Sea Treaty and future US participation, the risk/reward profile of oil spills and other pollution, and international cooperation in responding to such disasters.


2. Natural Gas Markets

Natural gas production and trade is fragmented into many regional markets that often have completely independent pricing. The largest markets are in the North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific regions and each was widely different prices. These persistent wide prices differences indicate that natural gas has not yet become a true global   commodity. Today, one might expect natural gas is poised to evolve into a true global             commodity with unprecedented amounts of capital dedicated to the construction of LNG liquefaction plants and trans-continental pipelines. This plenary session aims to explore the future of natural gas as a global commodity. It will discuss current arbitrage opportunities in natural gas markets and the future of natural gas supply, demand and prices.


3. Isolated/Dedicated Power Grids

Alaska is home to hundreds of isolated power grids, with unique electric supply and demand profiles creating difficult integration problems demanding new innovations and solutions. Similar isolated power grids exist throughout the world and much benefit would come from increased sharing of experiences. Unfortunately, most of these grids exist in remote communities with high travel and communication costs. These             communities also tend to be small with limited resources to bridge the remoteness gap. This session will survey the newest solutions being developed and discuss their implications in global power markets.


4. Unconventional Oil & Gas Development

Worldwide, and especially in North America, massive innovations have occurred recently in production techniques for shale oil, shale gas, oil sands, and heavy oil. This session will look at the economic and associated environmental factors that will determine the outlook for oil and gas costs,  reserves, production, and prices.


5.  Managing Oil Resource Wealth for Economic Development

The ways that governments manage resource revenues and distribute them among citizens can affect the size and structure of regional economies and change the distribution of income and wealth. Specific attention will be given to savings strategies, sovereign wealth funds, and spending on infrastructure and social welfare programs.


6. Petroleum Taxation and Competition

There are widely different goals and strategies between sovereign jurisdictions for collecting rents from petroleum production. And there are vastly different ways government take materializes, with variations in form and timing of take, and risk-sharing for price, geology, and costs. Many governments are interested in getting a "fair share"   for these non-renewable resources. However, investment by international oil companies for development takes place in an international milieu of a plethora of opportunities. This plenary session will examine how governments balance fair share with being internationally competitive. It will address how jurisdictions compete, how to compare jurisdictions, metrics to measure competitiveness, and case studies of attempts to be competitive.


7. Industrial Energy Use and Efficiency

Industry plays a critical role in a region’s energy system and economy. Industrial   production remains the main engine of economic output in most regions. The industrial sector is also a large consumer of energy. Since energy is a major production cost factor, industries continually seek innovation in their operations to achieve higher energy efficiency, while governments also try to limit the challenges surrounding access to low cost energy to motivate economic growth in their regions. This plenary session will specifically feature issues on industrial energy use, trends in energy efficiency, and opportunities for improvement. The presentations in this session will enable a constructive dialogue around effective strategies for achieving complementary and economic outcomes.


8. Developments in Electricity Generation and Distribution

Smart grids and appliances, technical and financial integration of alternative energy sources into existing power grids. Technology and regulation for isolated electricity systems.


9. Arctic Transport: Technology and Opportunities

The melting sea ice in the Arctic Ocean increases the potential for marine transportation and resource development. What economic opportunities open up? What is the state of the art for ice-breaking tankers, pipeline developments in the Arctic, Arctic LNG? What are the socio-cultural concerns?


10. The Interconnection between Industry and Government

Incentives, subsidies, regulation, publicly utility price regulation with limited buyers and sellers. Who should be responsible for infrastructure development to support resource projects?


You’ll note that some of these topics focus on issues that have not received a great deal of attention in the past. In keeping with our unique location, there will, of course, be an emphasis on Arctic issues, particularly Alaska, Canada, Norway, and Russia. However, as has been the tradition of all USAEE North American Conferences, our Plenary and Concurrent Sessions programs will cover a broad range of energy economic issues to meet the professional needs and interests of our members, who represent all sectors of the energy economics community.


Concurrent sessions addressing all areas of energy economics will cover reports on current research and reports on case studies of applied energy economics. In addition, a poster session will include current research or case studies presented in a specially designed open networking environment. For information about the Call for Papers see www.usaee.org/USAEE2013/ . The deadline for receipt of abstracts is February 21, 2013.


Although private industry carries out most energy development, governments – charged with reflecting the broad spectrum of society’s values – create the context in which development occurs. Consequently, the relationship between industry and government is central to the question of how to promote energy development and use that is efficient and environmentally sound. Countries, states, provinces, and communities around the world seek to unlock their energy resource potential, encourage new technologies, and assure equitable distribution of benefits. Industry holds the necessary technical expertise and experience. Industry-government relations will be crucial in determining where and how the world’s energy resources are developed, and which products are brought to market at what price. That evolving relationship will influence everything from fiscal systems and consumer costs to climate change and environmental health.


Alaska is an appropriate setting for a conference addressing the issues, challenges, and opportunities of industry-government relations in energy use and development. As one of North America's great energy producing regions, Alaska has a long history of dynamic industry-government relations. Alaska’s role in satisfying energy demand features prominently in energy policy debates both nationally and internationally. The conference will bring together energy researchers and practitioners to explore these themes through a series of plenary sessions, concurrent sessions reporting current research and case studies of applied energy economics, and a poster session. The conference will also provide networking opportunities through informal receptions, breaks between sessions, public outreach, and student recruitment. A selection of offsite tours will be offered to highlight Alaska’s uniquely beautiful environment as well as the state’s role in the North American energy supply chain.


(Photo courtesy Northern Gas Pipelines)

The conference will be hosted by the Anchorage Association for Energy Economics, the local chapter of the USAEE.

The Anchorage chapter was originally formed in the early 1980's as an IAEE chapter and pre-dates the formation of the USAEE.

We look forward to welcoming you to Alaska!

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Three technical tours are planned for the conference:

1) On Saturday July 27 there will be an all-day trip to the North Slope to view production facilities on the Arctic Ocean. Participants will fly to the Slope from Anchorage early Saturday morning and return that night.

2) Departing on Friday, July 26, there will be a two-day tour of the Valdez Marine Terminal. Participants will leave Anchorage by bus on Friday for the one hour bus drive south to Whittier, where they will catch the Alaska Marine Highway System ferry for a beautiful (glaciers, mountains, wildlife) 7-hour trip across Prince William Sound. Participants will overnight in Valdez, tour the marine terminal on Saturday and return to Anchorage by bus, arriving that evening. (Another beautiful trip.)

3) A third technical tour is planned within the Anchorage area to view innovative energy projects in the area. Details will be forthcoming.

These tours are described in a separate article in this issue of USAEE Dialogue.


(Photo courtesy Northern Gas Pipelines)


Ecotourism opportunities abound. Alaska is home to several national and state parks including Mt. McKinley (Denali), only a 5-hour drive from Anchorage, and the Kenai Fjords, a 3-hour drive. There are wildlife and glacier viewing, flight-seeing, kayaking, rafting, hiking, hunting, and the finest salmon and halibut fishing in the world.

Anchorage is easy to get to with direct flights from several major cities around the United States, but Alaska in July is a popular tourist destination and we encourage you to get your airline tickets soon!

For general information about the conference see www.usaee.org/USAEE2013/. For more information on tourism opportunities in Anchorage and Alaska please visit http://www.anchorage.net/ .

Please contact Roger Marks of the Anchorage Chapter, general program co-chair, at 907-250-1197 or rogmarks@gmail.com for further information.




[1] Copyright © 2003 by John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge, used by permission of The Wylie Agency LLC.


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