Houston Seeks To Be Energy Transition Capital In The World, Supports Projects in Azerbaijan

Early last week, Houston-based KBR announced that the company’s SOCAR-KBR joint venture has been awarded a front-end engineering design contract from BP Exploration to develop the Shah Deniz Alpha platform in Azerbaijan.

The project to significantly reduce Shah Deniz Alpha’s overall carbon footprint and increase operational efficiency, providing a robust, long-term, high-availability power supply, according to KBR.

The move comes as the U.S. energy capital Houston has been positioning itself to lead the global energy transition to a more efficient and sustainable low-carbon future while accommodating global demand growth.

Meeting that demand while trying to halt climate change will require a fundamental shift, city experts believe.

“When we’re talking about energy and energy transition, from the Houston perspective, this really cannot be an either-or conversation; it has to be all because the global energy demand is increasing,” Christopher Olson, director of international and trade affairs for the City of Houston told TURAN’s Washington correspondent during a briefing organized by the State Department’s Foreign Press Center.

For Bob Harvey, chief executive officer of the Greater Houston Partnership, it “does no good” for the climate effort to drive the cost of energy to a level that the consumer cannot withstand, and “frankly, we don’t want to lose the support of the public around the world and consumers around the world by driving energy prices to a level where they start to question the wisdom of a low carbon, net zero carbon aspiration.”

“So I would certainly suggest that we support energy projects around the world that are managed in an environmentally sensitive manner, low carbon footprint,” Harvey said in response to TURAN’s questions.

Last summer, the Greater Houston Partnership launched the Houston Energy Transition Initiative – aimed at leveraging Houston’s energy leadership to meet growing global demand while also lowering emissions.

Since that launch, the global energy landscape has changed dramatically as the world has witnessed Putin’s unprovoked attack on the democratic and sovereign nation of Ukraine, significantly impacting both the availability and cost of energy worldwide and revealing the vulnerability of relying on adversarial nations for global energy needs.

In his recent address to American mayors, Ukrainian President Zelenskyy asked them to cut all ties with Russian cities, saying “please do not let those who became murderers call your cities their sister cities.”

When asked by TURAN whether Houston would be open to ending its sister city ties with Russia’s Tyumen, Olson said, they have decided for the time being to keep that because “we felt that was an opportunity for dialogue at the subnational and city level.”

“That was a dialogue that could not happen anywhere else. Much like all of our sister cities, including our sister city relationship with Baku, those relationships and those conversations were something we wanted to make sure we could continue to have, certainly something we will never take off any table, certain of dialogue that continues to be had, and I do appreciate the concern on that,” he added.

Source: Turan News Agency