David Lawrence was formerly a senior executive for Shell involved in the areas of exploration and commercial development, LNG and wind energy for Shell Upstream Americas. Prior to this he had international responsibilities as Executive Vice President Global Exploration. Sakhalin Island is one of the locations that Shell's international upstream operation is concentrating on for future energy development. As with his energy industry colleagues, David Lawrence follows the technological progression of exploration and production and LNG in this part of the world.
The largest island in Russia, Sakhalin Island is almost 590 miles long from the north to south and approximately 100 miles at its broadest point. The mountainous region is comprised of almost 30,000 square miles. The island's economy is supported by the fishing trade, as well as the oil and petroleum industry.
The island, which lies within the Arctic region, is adjacent to three offshore oil and natural gas platforms – each of which has been proven to stand up to ice floes, earthquakes, and typhoons. Situated in one of the most active seismic zone worldwide, the platforms are designed to withstand major temblors reading as high as 8.0 on the Richter scale.
The offshore platforms are part of the Sakhalin-2 project, which is one of the biggest export-based gas and oil undertakings worldwide. Liquefied natural gas (LNG) produced by the project adds to about 4.5% of the world's energy needs for liquefied gas and almost 10% of the requirements for Japan.
Research has determined that the Arctic region itself contains about 30% of the undiscovered natural gas reserves worldwide.
After more than 29 years of service to various companies in the Shell Oil and Royal Dutch Shell organization, David Lawrence retired as executive vice president exploration and commercial of Shell Upstream Americas. During his long association with Shell, David Lawrence developed strong relationships within the industry and established a reputation for providing valuable service to the community, colleagues and energy industry around the world. In 2013, David Lawrence accepted an invitation to become a trustee associate of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) Foundation.
Established in 1967, the prime purpose of the AAPG Foundation is to support the geosciences. It accomplishes this objective in a variety of ways, which benefit the general public as well as the geology profession. For example, the foundation sponsors lectureships, awards, and fellowships to recognize outstanding achievement or potential in the geosciences, especially in the area of energy mineral resources and oil exploration.
One of the most eagerly anticipated of the AAPG’s annual events which Lawrence supported through Shell, is the Imperial Barrel Award Program, which pits teams of geoscience graduate students from different universities against each other in analyzing potential oil fields and estimating their reserves. Teams are given datasets about a piece of land, including data about the land’s geology, production infrastructure, geophysics, and other relevant data and, within an eight-week period, must develop a 25-minute presentation to be delivered to a panel of industry experts.
Winning teams are selected on the basis of each presentation’s originality, clarity, and technical quality. Cash prizes are awarded to the winning teams’ schools, and the members of the triumphant regional teams win trips to the AAPG Annual Convention to compete for the grand prize.
Lawrence is also a supporter of the AAPG Military Veterans Scholarship Program. With a goal of getting specific, highly talented individuals who are trained in the armed forces into the geosciences, the AAPG Foundation’s Military Veterans Scholarship Program was created to promote educational advancement and career opportunities in geoscience to the booming U.S. veteran population. Veterans are currently underrepresented in the workforce. They are more likely to begin college than the general public, but less likely to finish. The AAPG Military Veterans Scholarship Program (MVSP) will support these men and women in the pursuit of their degrees, enabling them to gain employment within the oil and gas industry.
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.