An experienced oil, gas and energy industry executive with more than three decades of experience, David Lawrence, chairman of Lawrence Energy Group, LLC most recently served as the executive vice president of exploration and commercial activities for Shell Upstream Americas in Houston. At Shell, in addition to exploration for conventional and unconventional resources, his responsibilities included wind energy, LNG, acquisitions, divestments and gas to liquids in the Americas. David Lawrence draws upon his experience at Shell to help a number of groups learn more about the energy transition, climate change and its ongoing effects.
A small town on the western flanks of the rapidly subsiding Mississippi River delta in Louisiana is one of the first places in the United States to feel the practical effects of local sea level rise, enhanced by climate change. Due to rising waters caused by the ongoing subsidence, compaction, and erosion of the narrow strip of land on which the town is built, as well as sea level rise, the sea been encroaching upon the town for more than 60 years. The residents of Isle de Jean Charles are being advised to relocate within the next five years, with the US government providing up to $48 million in funding to help the people find new homes.
The move will be especially difficult for members of the Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw tribes, who have sacred ties to the land. With rising waters, however, they will have little choice but to leave their historic homeland behind.
Dr. David Lawrence, Chairman and CEO, Lawrence Energy Group (Houston, Texas), presents the keynote, "Choices and Challenges: Delivering the World's Energy Needs," at the Oil & Gas in the 21st Century Conference on April 7, 2016. The conference was held at Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa and was hosted by The University of Tulsa College of Law.
The founder of Lawrence Energy Group LLC, David Lawrence formerly oversaw Shell Upstream Americas and Royal Dutch Shell in executive roles. With an interest in exploration, David Lawrence shares his expertise through his blog Energy Perspectives, which syndicates on The Energy Collective.
The Energy Collective recently published an article discussing natural gas production in the United States. The article gave an overview of production in 2015, which reached a record high of 79 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d), according to the US Energy Information Administration. The amount represented a 5 percent increase from 2014. Marketed natural gas production and gross withdrawals as well as dry natural gas production were factored into the measurement.
Large contributions came from Oklahoma, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. These states made up 35 percent of total production. Of the five, Pennsylvania supplied the most, despite having a significant drop from 2014 to 2015, with 1.5 Bcf/d. Ohio followed at 1.4 Bcf/d, a 41 percent boost from the year prior. The Energy Information Administration expects Ohio to grow in production in the coming years because of its less-developed Utica Shale play.
A longtime executive with Shell Upstream Americas and Royal Dutch Shell, David Lawrence supported a number of educational initiatives, including the Imperial Barrel Award and the Military Veterans Scholarship Program, sponsored by the American Association of Petroleum Geologists. Since leaving Shell, David Lawrence has established the Lawrence Energy Group LLC and serves as chairman of the Yale Climate and Energy Institute External Advisory Board. Mr. Lawrence writes frequently on energy and environmental issues at http://lawrence1energy.blogspot.com.
As one personal project, he set in place a simple “do-it-yourself” carbon tax. The purpose of this carbon tax is twofold: First, to reduce one’s personal carbon emissions and, second, to save money or tax one’s use to support environmental groups. This five-step project begins with using free online calculators to determine one’s personal CO2 footprint, in tons per year.
From there, an achievable carbon-reduction target is set; Mr. Lawrence selected 10 percent in the first year. There are numerous online resources for specific CO2-reduction strategies, ranging from carpooling to using more efficient home-heating methods.
The third step involves setting in place a carbon price; former U.S. Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers suggested $25 per ton. As the U.S. average annual emission is 17 tons per capita, this might work out to $400-$500.
The last two steps have to do with how to use the money raised, both in reduced energy costs and from your self-tax. This can involve investing in sustainability-focused organizations and companies and in supporting institutions dedicated to ending energy poverty around the globe.
An experienced geologist and energy executive, David Lawrence was the executive vice president exploration and commercial with Shell until 2013. As part of his duties, David Lawrence guided aspects ranging from new business development to Shell’s wind energy division WindEnergy, Inc.
Founded in 2001, WindEnergy is engaged in eight projects across the United States and one in Europe. Together, its wind farms have more than 700 turbines that produce enough energy to power over 100,000 households. Its European farm, Egmond aan Zee, is located in the North Sea between Great Britain and the continent. Building on its previous experience in offshore energy production, Shell has designed the 36 turbines to last 20 years.
Domestically, some of the company’s largest operations are centered in Texas. With almost 250 wind turbines, the Brazos and White Deer wind farms produce a cumulative 240 megawatts of power for about 72,000 households and are co-owned with Mitsui Wind and Entergy, respectively. The company’s other operations are located in California, Colorado, Iowa, West Virginia, and Wyoming.
In 2013, David Lawrence transitioned from his role as an executive with Shell Upstream Americas and the head of Gobal Exploration for Royal Dutch Shell to become the chairman and CEO of Lawrence Energy Group, Director of Stone Energy Corporation and Chairman of the Advisory Board of the Yale Climate and Energy Institute. During his tenure with Shell, David Lawrence contributed to a number of important natural gas projects, such as the Repsol liquefied natural gas (LNG) acquisition, which helped advance the company’s commitment to cultivating natural gas resources.
Shell states that more than 30 percent of energy-related carbon dioxide emissions are a result of electricity generation, and notes that reducing emissions from this industry is crucial to preventing extensive climate change. The company asserts that by switching from coal to natural gas, energy producers could reduce power plants’ CO2 emissions by about 50 percent.
Utilizing additional gas for electricity production could have a significant impact on the efforts of countries working to meet emission reduction goals, according to the industry giant. To accommodate rising demand for natural gas, Shell leads various production efforts, including extracting gas from dense rock and transforming natural gas into a liquefied form that is easier to ship.
An accomplished oil and gas industry professional with over three decades of experience, David Lawrence recently served as the executive vice president of exploration and commercial for Shell Upstream Americas in Houston. Today, David Lawrence uses the experience he acquired as a Shell executive to assist organizations like the Yale Climate and Energy Institute (YCEI), a nonprofit group that works to help the world prepare for and adapt to climate change.
In its efforts to educate the scientific community and the general public about climate change issues, YCEI holds a variety of workshops, symposia, special lectures, and conferences throughout the year. One of the organization’s most popular events is its Annual Conference, which has been held on the Yale campus in New Haven, Connecticut, each spring for the last six years.
YCEI’s most recent Annual Conference took place on April 24, 2015, and focused on the future of nuclear energy. Highlights of the event included panel discussions on topics such as nuclear energy regulation, policy, and safety.
In addition, the conference featured a special screening of the documentary Pandora’s Promise and several lectures from prominent keynote speakers, including Matt Crozat, a senior advisor in the US Department of Energy’s Office of Nuclear Energy. For more information about YCEI’s 2015 Annual Conference, or any of its future activities, visit www.climate.yale.edu.
Before embarking on his career with Royal Dutch Shell, David Lawrence earned a Ph.D. in geology from Yale. David Lawrence brings a wealth of knowledge gained from executive roles at Shell to his position on the advisory board for the Yale Climate & Energy Institute (YCEI). YCEI aims to advance understanding of the Earth’s energy resources and climate systems.
The institute supports interdisciplinary climate and energy research conducted by faculty, graduate students, and postdoctoral fellows. One program, the Climate System and Human Health Initiative, focuses on climate changes caused by human activity and how those changes may affect human health. Another initiative, high-resolution climate assessments, studies the potential impacts of global warming on vulnerable regions in the Northeastern United States, the Arabian Peninsula, and Africa. YCEI also has a research initiative focused on unconventional hydrocarbon resources.
Through these research programs, YCEI is creating a plan for Yale to adapt to expected climate change over the next 50 to 100 years. In addition, YCEI is providing insight on practical solutions to help the world address the challenges of climate change while meeting global energy demands.
Former Shell Upstream Americas executive vice president David Lawrence has over 30 years of experience in the gas and oil industry, and currently serves as chairman of the Yale Climate and Energy Institute (YCEI) Advisory Board, Chairman of Lawrence Energy Group LLC and as Director for Stone Energy Corporation. On April 10, 2015, David Lawrence, who had worked for Shell for almost three decades led a panel on "Oil and Gas Exploration and Production in the New Price Environment" and provided a speech for the Yale Alumni in Energy (YAE) Seventh Annual Conference.
The YAE conference took place on Yale’s West Campus and served as a forum for students, faculty, and alumni to discuss energy topics and network with peers. Events on the agenda included presentations by keynote speakers, sessions on the Electricity Sector and Future Grid, and discussions regarding developments in energy law and oil’s new price environment. Guest and keynote speakers included renowned economists, key policymakers, energy industry leaders, and some of the top researchers from throughout the country.
A longtime energy professional who filled several senior executive roles for Shell Oil Company and Royal Dutch She'll and its various affiliates worldwide, David Lawrence founded and chairs the Lawrence Energy Group. Committed to energy and renewables, David Lawrence served as Shell’s executive vice president for exploration and commercial and was responsible for the company’s wind business.
The climate change debate is hampered by the fact that most people are not aware of their own carbon emissions; likewise, they often do not see any real value other than satisfaction from taking steps to reduce that footprint. David Lawrence’s Carbon Price Challenge is designed to cut carbon emissions, save energy and money, support innovation and clean energy, and support the reduction of energy poverty worldwide. It provides tools to measure the cost of emissions and the dollar value of conservation efforts.
The challenge involves, first, using one of several online calculators to determine your own annual carbon emissions in tons. Next, establish goals for reducing that footprint, preferably for both the short and the long term. For the sake of comparison, it is estimated that the average annual emissions are about 17 tons per person.
The third step is to calculate your own carbon tax based on those emissions. Although the range used by individuals and companies for this purpose is broad, $25 per ton is a reasonable amount. The average person would thus pay an annual carbon tax of about $425. The fourth step, which can also be done with the online calculators, is to develop a plan to reduce your emissions.
The next step of the challenge is to invest the self-imposed tax in clean energy solutions in one of three ways:
1. Invest directly in enterprises that make and sell products and services that reduce consumers’ carbon footprints.
2. Purchase products and services that reduce your own carbon footprint.
3. Contribute to organizations that conduct research into clean energy.
Step five calls for contributing to organizations like the Ashden Trust, SolarAid, and GRID Alternatives, which work to end what Lawrence calls energy poverty.
Utilizing decades of experience as a geologist and business leader, David Lawrence formerly held the position of executive vice president with Shell Upstream Americas in Houston with responsibilities including exploration.