Expecting the Unexpected: How International Energy and Oilfield Services Companies Manage Front Page Geopolitical Events - WAMR 2015 Vol. 9, No. 2
James Lloyd Loftis
Michol L. Ecklund
Jay G. Martin
Steven S. Runner
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Originally From World Arbitration and Mediation Review (WAMR)
Navigating international operations in a time of global
upheaval can be a tricky business. Civil unrest such as the Arab
Spring, the 2014 Libyan Conflict, the current violence engulfing
Iraq, and the annexation of Crimea implicates oil production, can
invoke dramatic and wide-spread sanctions, and has a tendency
to spawn competing claims to energy resources. You will hear
from three experienced panelists who are tasked with managing
and protecting their company’s assets in hot spots around the
JAMES LOFTIS: We have, as a topic today, “Expecting the
Unexpected.” It is one of those titles that conference organizers
think up when they are trying to figure out what will get people
interested in coming to a conference. But it is no less interesting
and valuable because of the speakers we have today and what
they are going to share with us. Jay Martin, Vice President,
Deputy General Counsel, and Chief Compliance Officer at Baker
Hughes, will begin for us. Before his current role, he was a
partner at Winstead Sechrest & Minick, Phelps Dunbar, and
Andrews & Kurth, and, prior to that, Assistant General Counsel at
the Mobil Oil Corporation. He has a tremendous amount of
experience both domestically and internationally, in energy
transactions across the spectrum, and in regulatory work. He has
degrees in business, public administration, and law from SMU.
His topic today will be common elements in crises and crises
management across geographic regions.
Next will be Steven Runner, who is substituting for Rick Vent.
He is the Assistant Chief Attorney for the Exploration/Upstream
Ventures Unit at ExxonMobil here in Houston. After turning away
from an academic career in Middle Eastern Studies, he confirmed
to me that, if he works very hard at it, he can speak poor Arabic.
He obtained his law degree from the University of Texas in 1999
and, since then, has been with ExxonMobil in such garden spots as
Qatar for five years and Angola for three years. He is happy to be
back here in Houston. He will talk to us about ExxonMobil – not
about any particular crisis, but, rather, about ExxonMobil's
playbook for marshalling its resources in developing a response
to a crisis.
to a crisis.