Former Shell executive David Lawrence is a respected geologist and energy executive whose work centers on global exploration, natural gas and energy investment. David Lawrence established his own energy consulting firm, Lawrence Energy Group, after leaving his post at Shell. He currently advises clients in the energy sector on the energy transition and its business impacts and on carbon pricing scenarios.
In 40 countries, companies with business models that result in carbon dioxide emissions are charged a carbon price. Carbon prices are calculated ( in part) by putting a value on the estimated range of damages caused by CO2 emissions, as the cost of emitting a tonne of CO2 is proportional to the estimated cost of the potential damage it may cause. This formula produces a broad range of outcomes as it may consider various risk scenarios of costs incurred due to environmental issues, health problems possibly related to carbon dioxide emissions , and the risk of property damage from natural disasters.
Countries can levy carbon costs in two ways. Some governments put a limit on the amount of CO2 that can be emitted in any given year. This system, sometimes referred to as "cap-and-trade", creates a marketplace for CO2 emission allowances. Low-emitting businesses can sell their surplus allowances to other companies, thereby incentivizing companies to reduce their carbon emissions. In some countries, a carbon tax is directly imposed on emitters of CO2. In the long-term, the purpose of both carbon pricing methods is to reduce overall carbon emissions.
A successful executive who served as the executive vice president of global exploration for Royal Dutch Shell and as the executive vice president of exploration and commercial for Shell Upstream Americas in Houston, David Lawrence is now retired from those positions and serves as chairman of Lawrence Energy Group. In his new venture, David Lawrence focuses on a number of different energy sectors, including natural gas.
Natural gas has emerged in the past decade as an alternative to fossil fuels such as coal terms of major domestic energy production. For this reason, major companies have ramped up distribution networks and are building pipelines throughout the country to take advantage of the growing market. The new pipeline projects not only bring natural gas to areas that may not have had easy access before, but they also aid in job growth.
One other way that natural gas is benefiting communities is through new tax revenue. In rural Ohio, for example, the Cloverleaf school district is reaping a financial windfall due to new taxes put in place on natural gas operation from the new NEXUS pipeline that is being built throughout the state. In the coming years, more school districts and other local government entities will likely find similar ways to piggyback off the expansion of the natural gas market.
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.
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.
An energy executive, David Lawrence most recently led the exploration and commercial division at Shell Upstream Americas and served as the head of global exploration for Royal Dutch Shell. In addition to his ongoing business interests with Lawrence Energy Group, he today writes the blog Energy Perspectives, drawing on his expertise in traditional and renewable energies. The platform serves as a means for him to share his thoughts on energy and climate issues. Since establishing the blog, David Lawrence has been invited to syndicate his content through TheEnergyCollective.com.
With more than 240,000 visitors per month, TheEnergyCollective.com publishes information about energy policies, technologies, fuels, and innovations as well as climate changes that impact the industry. Website articles are written by influential leaders from around the world who have firsthand experience shaping the future of the energy industry. The website receives support from Siemens Energy and Royal Dutch Shell.
In a recent article published on TheEnergyCollective.com website, the policy director for the Idea Bank’s clean-energy team discussed the progress of America in the renewable-energy sector. As of April 2015, the United States is on track to have its cleanest year ever, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. This may be due in large part to tax incentives and a decline in the cost of installing solar panels and wind turbines.
Regardless, there are already contracts in place for the construction of solar and wind infrastructure that will produce 18.3 gigawatts of renewable energy in 2015. In addition, ongoing efforts to replace coal-burning power plants with natural gas plants will continue to reduce carbon emissions by half.
As the chairman and CEO of Lawrence Energy Group, David Lawrence leverages executive leadership experience with Royal Dutch Shell and Shell Upstream Americas to invest in emerging opportunities and advanced technology projects in the gas, oil, and renewable energy industries. David Lawrence also draws on his global industry experience with Shell and other ventures, as well as academia and government to maintain the Energy Perspectives blog through the Energy Collective. In his most recent post, he detailed his Carbon Price Challenge, which focuses on individually reducing CO2 emissions and investing in efforts to end energy poverty.
Through energy conservation and efficiency efforts and a self imposed carbon price, David Lawrence explains that individuals can use subsequent cost savings to invest in clean energy and support organizations that work to relieve energy poverty worldwide, such as Innovation: Africa. This organization has completed numerous energy projects across Africa and created its first Eco Village in the village of Ndaula in Malawi in 2011. Before the Eco Village project, the 37,000 people who lived around Ndaula couldn’t access a lit environment to study%2 or receive medical care after sunset.
Innovation: Africa thus focused its power-delivery efforts on two schools and a medical facility in the center of the village. By powering all three buildings and installing a solar-powered water system, the organization helped foster widespread changes for the residents of Ndaula. Citizens can now easily access clean water and 24-hour health care; adults can participate in evening education programs; and the village as a whole can cultivate more crops.
After earning his PhD in geology and geophysics from Yale University in 1984, David Lawrence embarked on a career with Shell Oil Company and Royal Dutch Shell that lasted nearly 30 years. After retiring from Shell in 2013, he established the Lawrence Energy Group to invest in emerging oil, gas, and renewable energy enterprises. David Lawrence belongs to numerous industry and service organizations and was recently named chair of the external advisory board of the Yale Climate & Energy Institute.
The Yale Climate & Energy Institute is primarily a research and teaching program, established by Yale University to promote and enhance the understanding of energy resources and the earth’s climate systems, as well as the myriad consequences of changes in those systems. The institute supports research and teaching that address mitigation of climate change as well as adaptation to it. The institute also seeks to identify and formalize practical approaches to these issues as policies at the local, regional, and global levels.
The YCEI focuses its involvement in several core programs, including postdoctoral fellowships, grants for workshops and symposia, energy studies programs for undergraduates, and seed grants for interdisciplinary research. It is also developing focused research initiatives that study the relationship between unconventional hydrocarbon resources and the environment, as well as the impact of the climate system on human health.
Although YCEI’s mission is to contribute to the overall approach to climate change, it is also developing specific plans for Yale to adapt to regional climate change during the next century. Typical of the center’s ongoing research projects are contemporary studies of drought in the American West, a study of the climatic genesis of the Black Death and other historic plague epidemics, and the speed with which the climate responds to increased levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide.
A former executive with Shell Oil Company and Royal Dutch Shell, David Lawrence most recently served as head of global exploration and executive vice president of exploration and commercial for Shell Upstream Americas in Houston, Texas. Today, David Lawrence is CEO of Lawrence Energy Group LLC, a director for Stone Energy Corporation and Chairman of the Advisory Board for the Yale Climate and Energy Institute. He contributes articles to The Energy Collective blog on various climate and energy topics, such as the global impact of energy poverty.
Although energy services are often easily accessible in developed countries, nearly 1 in 5 people worldwide do not have electricity in their homes, and millions of others lack safe, reliable, and/or affordable access to energy. In addition, over 2.5 billion people rely on traditional biomass fuel sources—wood, dung, crop wastes, etc.—to heat their homes and cook their food.
This energy poverty stalls human and economic development, leads to health complications, and shortens adult life expectancy. Burning traditional biomass exposes families to harmful indoor air pollution, which causes respiratory illness that is responsible for more than 4 million deaths each year, according to the World Health Organization. Also, hospitals without electricity have trouble treating many curable conditions, especially those related to pregnancy and birth.
A number of government, corporate, and nonprofit organizations are currently working to address energy poverty around the world. Many of these organizations have partnered with the United Nations’ Sustainable Energy for All initiative, which seeks to achieve universal access to modern energy services by 2030. For more information about the initiative, visit www.se4all.org.
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.