Atul Arya

IHS Markit

Senior Vice President & Chief Energy Strategist

Dr. Atul Arya, Senior Vice President and Chief Energy Strategist, IHS Markit is responsible for integrating energy content, analysis, and insights across the entire energy value chain and for c-suite client engagements. The Energy division has an international presence, with over 500 colleagues and office locations on five continents. Legacy product brands including CERA, Herold, Purvin & Gertz, McCloskey, and EER are now part of the Energy business. Dr. Arya’s areas of expertise include business strategy, commercial analysis, oil markets, energy technologies, climate change, and renewables. He has over 30 years of leadership experience in the energy industry, including senior posts with BP. Dr. Arya’s experience includes leadership in solar energy development as well as oil and gas sector. His international career spans a range of energy fields from strategy development and business planning to field operations and technology commercialization. Dr. Arya has previously led Energy Insight, Research and Analysis, and Energy Research teams at IHS. He has previously served on boards of several companies and institutions including Tata BP Solar, Green Mountain Energy, and National Council for Atmospheric Research. Dr. Arya was a member of the World Economic Forum’s Agenda Council on the Future of Oil and Gas and Adjunct Senior Fellow at Council on Foreign Relations in the United States. He is a regular speaker and moderator at public conferences, company boards, and at CERAWeek. Dr. Arya holds a doctorate in engineering from the University of Texas at Austin.

Sessions With Atul Arya

Monday, 1 March

  • 09:30am - 10:00am (CST) / 01/mar/2021 03:30 pm - 01/mar/2021 04:00 pm


    What Are the Fuels of the Future?

    Panel Markets/Economics/Strategy Energy Transition/Climate & Sustainability
    Energy transition requires a changeover to new technologies and new infrastructure, and especially to new fuels. Today’s most widely used transportation fuels—gasoline, diesel, and other oil-based fuels—are successful because of high energy density, affordability, and infrastructure such as service stations for automobiles. What are the fuels of the future? Many climate scenarios assume “electrification of everything.” Even if we had abundant supplies of green power, is this feasible? What are the future roles for LNG and biofuels? And then there is hydrogen—whether green, blue, or gray. Which of these are truly fuels of the future? And what will it take for them to displace the fuels of today?
  • 10:05am - 10:35am (CST) / 01/mar/2021 04:05 pm - 01/mar/2021 04:35 pm


    Energy Industry Post-pandemic: New directions?

    Panel Markets/Economics/Strategy Power & Renewables Upstream Oil & Gas
    While nearly all segments of the economy have been negatively impacted by the pandemic, the oil and gas industry has been especially hard hit. On the other hand, we have also learned valuable lessons that may be helpful in addressing other challenges. The past year has also seen strong momentum on climate ambitions with many countries and corporations announcing net-zero targets. The pandemic has created enthusiasm for “building back better” as we recover from this crisis. The EU has approved a $500 billion-plus green stimulus spending package and the Biden administration also has plans to use infrastructure investment for both economic stimulus and climate policy. How sharply will the demand for fossil fuels rebound? How green will the recovery be? What is the medium-term outlook for energy demand and emissions growth? How will the oil and gas industry change?  
  • 10:30am - 11:00am (CST) / 01/mar/2021 04:30 pm - 01/mar/2021 05:00 pm

    Voices of Innovation

    Voices of Innovation: Lorenzo Simonelli, Chairman and CEO of Baker Hughes: Rethink, redefine, renew

    Interview Innovation & Technology
    Baker Hughes is a “differentiated energy technology company” with the strategy to lead the energy transition. Its vision is to “invent smarter ways.” In this conversation with Atul Arya, Chief Energy Strategist, IHS Markit, Lorenzo Simonelli, Chairman and CEO of Baker Hughes, will discuss why 2021 is the year to “Rethink,” “Redefine,” and “Renew” the energy business. 
  • 11:50am - 12:20pm (CST) / 01/mar/2021 05:50 pm - 01/mar/2021 06:20 pm


    ESG: What should be the metrics?

    Panel Markets/Economics/Strategy Finance & Investment/Trading & Risk Management Energy Transition/Climate & Sustainability
    The momentum for ESG investing has accelerated, with “Environmental” often identified as the most important element within ESG. Some financial regulators are mandating that institutions consider the physical and transition risks of climate change in their stress testing and asset valuations. This means that companies, in turn, are increasingly being asked for “consistent, comparable, and reliable” ESG metrics. But at present, no single and consistent set of metrics, definitions, and reporting frameworks is in place. Which ESG factors materially affect long-term company performance? What metrics can be trusted? Which can meaningfully be compared between companies and sectors? Should investors care only about drivers of future company value, or should they worry about how companies impact global sustainable development? What is the role of financial institutions and financial regulators in fighting climate change?
  • 01:00pm - 01:30pm (CST) / 01/mar/2021 07:00 pm - 01/mar/2021 07:30 pm

    Agora Studio

    Agora Studio: New Horizons for Energy & Climate Research

    Panel Innovation & Technology Energy Transition/Climate & Sustainability

    The COVID-19 pandemic has made vivid and real the risks of an uncontrolled virus. Risks posed by climate change are also becoming more palpable every day. At the forefront of understanding these risks, universities are developing solutions by connecting science, engineering, business, and public policy disciplines. Along with industry and governments, universities are critical to developing affordable and sustainable solutions to meet the world’s energy needs and achieve net-zero emission goals. Can the dual challenge of more energy and lower emissions be met? What is some of the most promising energy and climate research at universities? Beyond research, what are the roles and responsibilities of universities in the energy transition?

Tuesday, 2 March

  • 07:00am - 08:00am (CST) / 02/mar/2021 01:00 pm - 02/mar/2021 02:00 pm

    Strategic Dialogue

    Upstream India: Opportunities, partnerships & potential

    Panel Upstream Oil & Gas Finance & Investment/Trading & Risk Management
    The aspiration of India to become a $5 trillion economy by 2024 is intertwined with securing sustainable sources of energy for its ~1.3 billion population. India’s oil & gas sector would continue to be the most critical component of all the energy resources in meeting India’s growing energy needs and ensuring energy security for the country. The Indian government has enacted policy reforms to attract E&P investments to unlock the 230 billion barrels of undiscovered oil & gas potential from the sedimentary basins. The reforms intend to implement cutting-edge technologies in mature fields, fast track monetization of discoveries, speed up development of ongoing projects and planned FDPs, and intensify exploration in less explored and frontier plays. Why is India an attractive destination for oil & gas investors in the post-COVID era? How big is the untapped potential of Indian sedimentary basins? What is being done to unravel the frontier plays? What more is the Indian Government offering to ensure a stable regulatory framework? How is the government facilitating various intra-government issues, clearances, and approvals? 
  • 10:45am - 11:15am (CST) / 02/mar/2021 04:45 pm - 02/mar/2021 05:15 pm


    Resilient Upstream Portfolios: Weathering the cycles

    Panel Markets/Economics/Strategy Upstream Oil & Gas
    2020 was a dramatic year for the global upstream industry, with an unprecedented 9 mbd demand drop and the Brent price falling from $64/bbl in January to $18/bbl in April and WTI going negative for a day. Long-term expectations for the industry suffered as peak oil demand scenarios became more common and countries and companies made net-zero commitments. Companies slashed capital spending; some made emissions reduction commitments that will require them to pivot their portfolios away from oil; and some even announced production decline targets. Resilient upstream portfolios with low cost and low emissions are the new goal. Are these trends here for the long term? To what extent will companies be able to lower costs and protect margins? How will they build resilient portfolios that can weather future cycles? Will digital technologies help? What does it all mean for the future of upstream?
  • 12:30pm - 01:00pm (CST) / 02/mar/2021 06:30 pm - 02/mar/2021 07:00 pm


    Do We Have Technologies to Get to Net Zero?

    Panel Clean Tech Innovation & Technology Energy Transition/Climate & Sustainability
    There was an avalanche of net-zero commitments in 2020, most of them targeting a “zero-carbon economy” by 2050. While progress has been made in renewable energy and electric passenger vehicles, other sectors—including industry, heavy transportation, and agriculture—that are major sources of emissions have not yet developed cost-competitive low-carbon technologies. Analysis by the International Energy Agency found that 75% of the emissions reductions necessary to achieve net-zero scenarios depend on technologies that have not yet reached commercial maturity. Where are the technology gaps? What is required to fill them? Can the economics work without a substantial price on carbon? Is hydrogen a silver bullet?
  • 01:30pm - 02:00pm (CST) / 02/mar/2021 07:30 pm - 02/mar/2021 08:00 pm

    Voices of Innovation

    Voices of Innovation: Ahmad Al-Khowaiter: Using carbon, controlling emissions

    Interview Innovation & Technology Upstream Oil & Gas
    Are “low-cost” and “low-emissions” the path to sustainability? Why is now the most exciting time for engineers and technologists to work in the energy industry? How is world’s largest oil company putting carbon to beneficial use while controlling emissions? In conversation with Atul Arya, Chief Energy Strategist, IHS Markit.

Wednesday, 3 March

  • 11:35am - 12:05pm (CST) / 03/mar/2021 05:35 pm - 03/mar/2021 06:05 pm


    The Case for Carbon Removal Technologies

    Panel Power & Renewables Clean Tech Innovation & Technology Energy Transition/Climate & Sustainability

    Some analysts argue that GHG emissions will turn out to have peaked in 2019. However, even if the tipping point has been reached, the rate of emissions reductions is slow and the accumulated concentration of GHG in the atmosphere is already high. It is doubtful that emissions reductions alone will bring the world in line with the ambitions of the Paris Accord. The realization of this sobering fact has led to increased interest in carbon removal technologies, including nature-based solutions; carbon capture, use, and sequestration (CCUS); and direct air capture. But carbon removal faces many challenges, including scale, costs, lack of public support, and issues with measurement, reporting, and verification. How viable is carbon removal technologically? Could it ever become economic? What technology breakthroughs are required? What policy support could accelerate deployment? 

  • 01:30pm - 02:00pm (CST) / 03/mar/2021 07:30 pm - 03/mar/2021 08:00 pm

    Voices of Innovation

    Voices of Innovation: Dr. Arun Majumdar: Gigatons to net zero

    Interview Innovation & Technology

    In 2020, more companies and countries set net-zero targets than ever before. There were unprecedented wildfires, new temperature highs, and hurricanes. How to rapidly scale technologies to giga-scale? How to better predict weather catastrophes? Come hear from Dr. Arun Majumdar on what is needed to get to net zero. In conversation with Atul Arya, Chief Energy Strategist, IHS Markit.

  • 02:00pm - 02:30pm (CST) / 03/mar/2021 08:00 pm - 03/mar/2021 08:30 pm

    Voices of Innovation

    Voices of Innovation: Alan Nelson, Chief Technology Officer, ADNOC: Innovating at scale

    Interview Innovation & Technology
    How do you transform a large NOC to become truly innovative? Can digital transformation deliver sustainable and measurable value? What technologies will be necessary at scale to reduce emissions? In this conversation with Atul Arya, Chief Energy Strategist, IHS Markit, Alan Nelson, ADNOC’s first CTO will share his journey and the future vision for innovating and transforming ADNOC. 

Thursday, 4 March

  • 09:10am - 09:40am (CST) / 04/mar/2021 03:10 pm - 04/mar/2021 03:40 pm


    Pathways to Net Zero in the Power Sector

    Panel Power & Renewables Clean Tech Energy Transition/Climate & Sustainability Decarbonization Pathways
    Thanks to technology advances, cost reductions, and climate policies, the power generation sector in Europe and North America has been a leader in reducing emissions. But fossil-fuel power generation is still growing in Asia. Will it be economic to replace coal with gas in Asia? And could carbon capture, use, and sequestration (CCUS) extend the life of fossil plants? Could digitization and carbon pricing allow step-function improvements in demand management and efficiency? Breakthroughs in battery storage have the potential to smooth the intermittency of wind and solar; and modernization and digitization would make the electric power grid more resilient. Does this mean that generating 100% of electrical power from renewables is realistic or desirable? Might smaller, safer, cheaper, and more socially acceptable reactors enable a “new nuclear” renaissance? And what role might hydrogen play in the long run?
  • 12:40pm - 01:10pm (CST) / 04/mar/2021 06:40 pm - 04/mar/2021 07:10 pm


    Digital Frontiers for Energy Industry Innovation

    Panel Digitalization Innovation & Technology

    Historically energy industry has been good at reinventing itself and at deploying new technologies. Recent examples include advances in unconventional oil/gas production, ultradeepwater development, and rapid decline in solar PV costs. More recently, the energy industry has been quick to embrace a wide spectrum of digital technologies. Some have argued that the pandemic has accelerated the pace of innovation and scale of deployment. However, as the energy sector transitions to new fuels and technologies, problems will get more complex and data more ubiquitous. How has the pandemic affected this trend? Has digital transformation in a post-COVID world moved from a luxury to a necessity? Where is the industry heading and what does this mean for operators and the service sector? How will digital technologies enable industry to meet sustainability and net-zero goals?

Friday, 5 March

  • 09:00am - 09:30am (CST) / 05/mar/2021 03:00 pm - 05/mar/2021 03:30 pm


    Energy Transition: Charting the energy future

    Panel Energy Transition/Climate & Sustainability
    IHS Markit experts look back on CERAWeek 2021 and point to its most interesting, surprising, and challenging messages. Sharing their perspectives and questions for CERAWeek 2021 will be experts on oil markets, global gas, power and renewables, and long-term scenarios and climate change.  
  • 09:30am - 10:00am (CST) / 05/mar/2021 03:30 pm - 05/mar/2021 04:00 pm

    Voices of Innovation

    Voices of Innovation: Lucas Joppa: Engaging the world to solve the climate challenge

    Interview Innovation & Technology
    How does one of world’s leading companies lead the world to tackle climate change? How do you build a new planetary computing platform that will transform the way we monitor, model, and manage Earth’s natural systems? What lessons can we learn from the pandemic about the future sustainability of the biosphere? In conversation with Atul Arya, Chief Energy Strategist, IHS Markit.
  • 10:30am - 11:00am (CST) / 05/mar/2021 04:30 pm - 05/mar/2021 05:00 pm

    Agora Studio

    Agora Studio: Digital Innovation & Grid Resilience

    Panel Power & Renewables Digitalization

    In the last decade the pace of digital innovation has significantly accelerated. At the same time, more and more distributed and intermittent power sources are being added to the grid. Furthermore, in the last 12 months, the pattern of consumption have changed as more people are working from home. The electricity grid has been mostly resilient but has remained largely unchanged. In the future, the functionality of the energy delivery systems such as the power grid will have to keep pace with the advances in machine laboring, data analytics, and automation. How will this new era of energy digitalization evolve? What changes are necessary to make the grid resilient for distributed and intermittent power sources and what new policies and regulations are needed to ensure resiliency of power markets?

  • 11:25am - 11:55am (CST) / 05/mar/2021 05:25 pm - 05/mar/2021 05:55 pm


    How to Think about the Energy Transition

    Panel Markets/Economics/Strategy Energy Transition/Climate & Sustainability
    The 2015 Paris Accord marked a new era in climate diplomacy: it replaced the vision of unified global climate policy with nationally determined contributions—with each country designing its own emissions reduction pathway considering national conditions, resources, and constraints. The shared ambition of keeping global warming “well below 2 degrees C” would, it was hoped, encourage individual countries to be ambitious, aligned, and cooperative. In advance of COP26, scheduled for November 2021 in Glasgow, Scotland, more than 100 countries, including the European Union, Japan, and South Korea, have pledged carbon neutrality by 2050. Most are developed economies where energy consumption is flat or growing very slowly. But what of the lower income countries with fast-growing energy needs, where economic growth requires increased supplies of low-cost, high-reliability energy and expanded transportation? How will the global energy transition play out for them? Will they be prepared to limit economic growth to reduce emissions? Will richer countries finance a faster transition for them? And, if so, what trade and tariff responses would we expect? And how will global companies respond?
  • 12:35pm - 12:50pm (CST) / 05/mar/2021 06:35 pm - 05/mar/2021 06:50 pm


    Concluding Thoughts

    Interview Energy Transition/Climate & Sustainability