Each November, the AICPA hosts its annual oil and gas conference in Denver. This year’s event kicked off on November 9 with a keynote address from economist Mark Snead, president of RegionTrack, an Oklahoma City-based firm specializing in regional economic forecasting and analysis.
Mr. Snead’s discussion on the current economic landscape and political climate of the industry was followed by sessions on ESG reporting and attracting and maintaining talent. The afternoon began with a talk on cybersecurity and was followed by a review of accounting/FASB updates. The day wrapped up with a presentation on funding innovation in the global energy transition.
Day two was opened by SEC Associate Chief Accountant Jonathan Duersch, who discussed a commission update, and was followed up with a talk on transformative approaches to reducing costs, cybersecurity and basin economics and carbon capture opportunities. The afternoon concluded a discussion on restructuring and a review of capital markets in a transitioning world.
Key Points from the Conference
Energy prices remain volatile, after oil prices went negative at the beginning of 2021 and rose to greater than $80 a barrel in Q4.
The future of energy in America will likely present a different landscape, with a transition from gasoline-powered cars to electric, but it won’t be the end of the industry since the demand for other products manufactured using oil and gas will remain high.
ESG has become and will remain a key topic for energy companies. This matter has been in the sightlines of public companies for a while, but as private companies look for capital to drill new wells, it will be an essential requirement to secure future funding.
The industry has been long known for high pay that has attracted talent, but it’s also been famous for pulling a quick trigger on layoffs during down markets. In the next 10-20 years, talent will become more difficult to obtain as specialization and attracting and retaining talent becomes more challenging.
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