As the big guns of the oil industry gather in London this week for International Petroleum week, talk has been largely of two things: the effect of Middle East unrest on the oil price and how to improve its reputation, especially after Macondo.
I have just sat through a session entitled: “Restoring the industry’s licence to operate in the face of increasing public and political scrutiny”.
In it, Andrew Griffin, CEO of a PR company called Regester Larkin, explained how the Macondo spill showed that the oil industry needed to do more to explain its importance to the public. This, he said, would help protect companies’ reputations in the case of an accident or other negative event.
As the oil price continues to surge, hitting $109 a barrel, the oil price movement for 2011 has begun to look very much like that in 2008, when the price ended up hitting $145, and became a contributing factor to the slump.
But Leo Drollas, chief economist at the Centre for Global Energy Studies, thinks it won’t, even though there are many similarities with the situation in 2008, including high oil demand.