Research InterestsOil Markets, Upstream, Carbon, CCUS, Hydrogen, Technology, Strategy and Consulting
Mr. Ward has worked in all aspects of the energy industry from summer jobs on seismic rigs, to designing refineries, upstream field development, consulting and strategy work, and now high-impact academic analysis of issues facing the energy system.
Much of Mr. Ward’s work in recent years has focused on CCUS-related topics including upstream carbon intensity, CO2-EOR, blue hydrogen, hydrocarbon producer strategy in a carbon-constrained world, and blockchain-based carbon tracking and trading.
Cost‒benefit analysis (CBA) has been used to assess investment projects for decades with the aim of quantifying their externalities and potential impacts on social welfare. However, the domain where CBA is applied has been primarily limited to direct public financing in several sectors where such impacts are perceived to be the most pronounced. This study explores the applicability of CBA principles to petrochemical investment and utilizes the proposed framework to assess a sample ethylene production project.
Structural changes in the global oil sector are disrupting conventional market dynamics and the roles played by competing and cooperating producers. Industry players are adjusting to the shale (or ‘tight’) oil revolution and the possibility of plateauing or peaking global oil demand. In particular, OPEC and Saudi Arabia, its top producer, are reshaping the organization’s role as the primary residual supplier to the world oil market. In recent years, OPEC has invited other major exporters, including Russia, to cooperate under the OPEC+ production agreement in an effort to stabilize prices.
Storing carbon dioxide (CO2 ) in oil reservoirs as part of CO2 -based enhanced oil recovery (CO2 -EOR) can be a cost-effective solution to reduce emissions into the atmosphere. In this paper, we analyze the economics of this option in order to estimate the amount of CO2 that could be profitably stored in different regions of the world. We consider situations in which the CO2 -EOR operator either purchases the CO2 supplied or is paid for its storage. Building upon extensive data sets concerning the characteristics and location of oil reservoirs and emission sources, the paper focuses on opportunities outside North America. Using net present value (NPV) as an indicator for profitability, we conduct a break-even analysis to relate CO2 supply prices (positive or negative) to economically viable storage potential.
Uganda and other countries in Eastern Africa are on the cusp of developing many oil and gas resources, and there is reason for local content to be included in the discussion. As part of a larger research effort at KAPSARC – which includes determining the local capacity for goods and services, economic impacts and policy implications – estimating the actual costs for development are a key input. Drawing on government and public domain information, this paper makes a detailed assessment of the cost, schedule and production estimates resulting from investment in Ugandan upstream oil projects.
The KAPSARC Oil Market Outlook (KOMO) has been designed to provide readers with a timely source of data, forecasts and analysis of world oil markets, including an understanding of the key factors affecting world oil prices. This paper gives a detailed description of the scope of KOMO, including the models and methodology used in the analysis.
In a June 29, 2022, communique, the G7 countries agreed to explore ways to impose a price cap on Russian oil exports. The main mechanism would be a ban on the provision of insurance, logistics and financial services by G7 nations for cargoes sold above the price ceiling. While there are some workarounds, the oil market is overwhelmingly served by G7 service providers, which could create a significant impediment to Russian exports. The G7 accounts for about 30% of the world’s total oil consumption and has called on other countries to join this multilateral effort with the hope of bringing the Russian-Ukraine conflict to a peaceful resolution. While regulating Russian exports would impact all members of the G7 and the rest of the world, the European Union (EU) was by far the largest market for Russian energy before the current crisis, and their energy systems are designed for Russian grades, making it difficult to replace.
On February 24, 2022, Russia began a ‘special military operation’ in Ukraine, which quickly escalated into a militarized conflict across multiple fronts. The act drew immediate disapproval from the United Nations and led most members of the Western alliance to impose sanctions on Russia, which has had negative spillover effects on the world economy.
The United States (U.S.) and its western allies have been increasing their pressure on Russia in response to the conflict in Ukraine. Undercutting Russian government finances is a priority for them. Energy exports are a key source of income for the Russian economy, and several different strategies have been employed (with varying degrees of success) to choke off the flow of petrodollars into Russia. Voluntary reductions by Western trading firms have been offset by increased purchases in the East by China and India. There are also more technical difficulties associated with payment vehicles and access to insurance for tankers that have created logistical obstacles.
China reported an outbreak of a SARS-like viral infection on December 31, 2019. The disease, officially named COVID-19, was first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China and continues to spread globally. Initial symptoms are similar to the common cold, but in severe cases it can cause pneumonia and even organ failure. The Chinese government has taken a number of steps to try to contain the virus, including extending the annual Lunar New Year holiday, restricting travel, and suspending some business activities. All of these measures will have some effect on the country’s energy consumption. Given the growing concerns over COVID-19 and its impact on oil demand, KOMO has been updated and KAPSARC is examining a range of possible outcomes.
Motivation and objective of the study
What if OPEC decided to abandon organizing residual production collectively, transitioning the world permanently to a competitive oil market? This commentary is based on a forthcoming KAPSARC paper, “Cooperate or Compete? Insights from Simulating a Global Oil Market with No Residual Supplier” (Rioux et al. 2020). It constructs scenarios in which OPEC members, or OPEC members other than Saudi Arabia, start behaving as competitive price takers in 2020 and stop participating as part of a collective residual oil supplier. This analysis employs a standard economic equilibrium model to simulate the transition to a purely competitive world oil market from 2020 to 2030.
Co-hosted With Clingendael International Energy Programme (CIEP) Hydrogen is a potential solution in reaching climate goals and decarbonizing hard-to-abate sectors like industry, buildings, and heavy-duty transport. It is also currently perceived as an energy vector: one that facilitates energy storage and can be used in the production of synthetic fuels. This makes it an essential component […]
co-hosted with IEEJ The purpose of the webinar is to assess how global oil markets will transition over the next few years, and how the major oil producers and consumers are likely to adapt to these changes. The following key aspects of the transition are what this event will focus on: Understanding different strategies by […]
Co-hosted With Paris Energy Club The objective of this workshop is to gather a wide array of people working on oil outlooks from different organizations, including agencies, traders, energy companies, and other related industries to discuss methodologies, models, and assumptions used to create the outlooks. Following this topic, it is also proposed to discuss short […]