May 10, 2012


During the past decade, innovative new techniques involving the use of horizontal drilling with hydraulic fracturing have resulted in the rapid growth in production of natural gas from shale. Although geologists have long known about the existence of shale formations, accessing those resources was long held to be nearly impossible due to the existing state of technology and high costs. But recent innovations have made shale gas production a commercial reality. This, in turn, has resulted in substantial change in the natural gas supply picture in North America. Moreover, it has had a ripple effect around the globe, not only through displacement of supplies in global trade, but also by fostering a growing interest in shale resource potential in other parts of the world.
One outgrowth of shale gas in North America (by displacement) has been increasing liquidity in natural gas markets around the globe, notwithstanding the effects of the disaster at Fukushima. In fact, European suppliers are already accepting lower contracted prices for natural gas, even allowing some sales to be indexed to spot natural gas markets, or regional hubs, rather than oil prices. This is a major paradigm shift in Europe, and could be the first signal that traditional pricing paradigms may become a thing of the past.
Shale gas developments in North America have also pushed some to consider exporting LNG, which represents an about-face from previous expectations. However, many developers missed shale gas in North America, which led to significant ex post negative investments in LNG import capacity. Is it possible this will occur abroad, and if so, what does it mean for the prospect of LNG exports from North America?
In addition, how might other convoluting factors, such as the role of exchange rates in determining arbitrage opportunities, influence the prospects for LNG exports? The answer to these questions is as much rooted in international trade and finance as it is in geology and resource availability. Moreover, it has significant implications for the development of markets and geopolitical relationships in the coming decades.
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Parking for this event :
The Petroleum Club provides valet parking service on the Milam Street side of the EXXON-MOBIL Building.  Parking is also available at public parking lots in the area for a fee in the $5 - $7 range.

Featured Speakers


Baker Fellow Energy & Resource
Baker Institute at Rice University



Kenneth B. Medlock III is currently the James A. Baker III and Susan G. Baker Fellow in Energy and Resource Economics at the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy and Adjunct …

Baker Fellow Energy & Resource
Baker Institute at Rice University



Kenneth B. Medlock III is currently the James A. Baker III and Susan G. Baker Fellow in Energy and Resource Economics at the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy and Adjunct Professor and Lecturer in the Department of Economics at Rice University. Medlock received his Ph.D. in economics from Rice University in 2000. From May 2000 to May 2001, he held the M.D. Anderson Fellowship at the Baker Institute. Afterward, he held the position of Corporate Consultant at El Paso Energy Corporation where he was responsible for analysis of North American natural gas, petroleum, and power markets. 


Currently, Medlock heads the Baker Institute Energy Forum’s natural gas program, and is a principal in the development of the Rice World Natural Gas Trade Model, which is aimed at assessing the future of international natural gas trade. Medlock also teaches introductory and advanced courses in Energy Economics and supervises undergraduate and graduate students in the Energy Field for the Department of Economics.


Medlock’s research covers a variety of topics in energy economics, including domestic and international natural gas markets, gasoline markets, energy commodity price relationships, transportation, modeling national oil company behavior, economic development and energy demand, forecasting energy demand, and energy use and the environment. Medlock’s work has been published in numerous academic journals, book chapters, and industry periodicals, as well as various Baker Institute Energy Forum studies. Medlock is a council member of the International Association of Energy Economics (IAEE), and is an active member of United States Association of Energy Economics (USAEE), the American Economic Association (AEA) and the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists (AERE). In 2001, he won (jointly with Ron Soligo) the IAEE Award for Best Paper of the Year in the Energy Journal.  Medlock was selected to Who’s Who in America in 2009, and in 2011 he was presented the USAEE’s prestigious Senior Fellow award.  Medlock regularly speaks at domestic and international academic and professional conferences and is widely quoted in the press on various energy issues.


Medlock has served as an advisor to the U.S. Department of Energy and the California Energy Commission in their respective energy modeling efforts. He also was the lead modeler of the Modeling Subgroup of the 2003 National Petroleum Council (NPC) study of long-term natural gas markets in North America, and was a contributing author to the California Energy Commission’s and Western Interstate Energy Board’s Western Natural Gas Assessment in 2005. He also contributed to the LNG chapter and Peak Oil deliberations of the 2007 NPC study, Facing the Hard Truths, and was involved in the latest NPC study, North American Resource Development, as well as the recent IEPR study of natural gas in the western U.S.


Full Description


Barry Faulkner

Date and Time

Thu, May 10, 2012

11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m.
(GMT-0500) US/Central

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