Rooted in the Association’s history is its ability to keep pace with the dynamic nature of the international energy industry. At its inception in the early 1980’s, AIEN primarily focused on the community of members in Houston, matters relating to the upstream petroleum industry, and on commercial negotiators. Over time the Association expanded into a global organization supporting the full value chain for oil and natural gas operations, has welcomed membership from technical personnel and lawyers from both petroleum companies and law firms, along with representatives from host governments and NOCs, and created a global network of Regional Chapters throughout the world.
Today, AIEN is a leader in the development of oil and gas model contracts for the energy industry, plays a vital role in the training and continuing education of global energy negotiators and provides a unique and valuable forum for professional networking. But, always with the same core purpose to help the international energy negotiator be better prepared to meet the challenges of the competitive global energy market.
The past few years have seen the energy industry expand and diversify the mix of energy sources at a speed not before seen. The pace of the deployment of renewable power generation has increased, as has the interest in other energy sources, such as hydrogen. Lowering carbon intensity through the deployment of carbon capture technologies and other methods, as well as through the adoption by governments of programs such as low carbon fuel standards is also becoming more prevalent. The changing energy landscape poses new challenges and a greater demand for knowledge in a broader range of solutions and expertise not required of the past.
Given these trends, approximately three years ago the Board of Directors of the Association of International Petroleum Negotiators formed a Sustainability Taskforce in order to consider the best ways in which the Association could continue to advance its goals and mission, staying the forefront of the global oil & gas industry and also evolving so we are also at the forefront of the broader energy industry.
We began addressing this most recently through:
- presenting more than 20 AIEN webinars featuring topics addressing various aspects of the energy transition (on-demand access to these webinars is available on AIEN University);
- developing an energy sustainability event, with the initial debut of content hosted in a webinar session this past fall (on-demand access available here);
- hosting a working session on energy transition contracting at our virtual Model Contracts Workshop this past October;
- addressing the energy transition discussion in the AIEN 2021 IPS (on-demand access to IPS sessions available on AIEN University, including free access for members to the keynote address “Net Zero by 2050 and the Implications for the Oil & Gas Sector” delivered by IEA Chief Energy Economist Tim Gould);
- reviewing and discussing the further development of our existing model contracts in light of changing energy industry needs;
- creating special task forces to develop models and trainings on developments in hydrogen, CCUS and ESG governance (you can join these taskforces here);
- publishing thought leadership in The Journal of World Energy Law and Business, AIEN's official journal, on issues arising out of the energy transition and global sustainability goals.
We heard feedback from members and sponsors that we needed to do more to continue to effectively serve the energy industry and to be a valuable educational and networking resource for our members for years to come.
In December 2021, the AIEN Board of Directors recommended a vote for approval by members to amend the association documents to:
- expand its industry mandate from "hydrocarbons and gas fired power plants" to "energy"; and, as a result of this expanded mandate,
- change its name to the “Association of International Energy Negotiators (AIEN)”.
We are happy to announce that the amendments were overwhelmingly approved by more than 90% of voting members.
While remaining at the forefront of the global oil & gas industry, we will continue to further the association's goals and mission, evolving with our membership and its growing needs for more resources related to the greater energy industry, including the chemicals industry, low carbon solutions, and sustainable energy deployment. Engaging with our members and sponsors, we will develop a strategy to implement these organizational changes that honors our past, reflects our present and plans our future value and position in the industry.
It is really important to emphasize that these changes are neither a move away from oil and gas, nor simply a name change. They are to reflect the broader, more complex and inter-dependent scope of work in which our members are currently engaged, the business strategies of our members’ companies and our sponsors, as well as to increase the association’s relevance for the next generation of energy negotiators.
Over the next few months, we will begin to shift from the usage of AIEN to AIEN, with plans to formally unveil the new name and logo at the 2022 Summit in London. As part of this evolution, the association’s premier annual meeting - the “International Petroleum Summit” will become the “International Energy Summit”. You will begin to see this new conference name used when we announce more details about the 2022 event.
We will provide more details and updates to the membership as short to long-term plans develop. Please reach out to John@aien.org to engage with us in the process of broadening our scope.