Takeaways From IEL’s 70th Annual Oil and Gas Law Conference

April 15, 2019

The energy industry continues to improve its technological and environmental initiatives. To aid these initiatives, McGuireWoods attorneys recently attended the Institute of Energy Law’s oil and gas conference in Houston, Texas. At the conference, experts in the energy and legal industries, including McGuireWoods partner Thomas Spahn, analyzed recent developments in energy contracts, federal and state regulations, and artificial intelligence.

Here are three takeaways from the IEL conference:

  • The energy industry is in transition. The business and legal spheres of the energy industry are in transition as they grow in efficiency and collaboration. Helping to maintain the balance between public needs for energy resources and environmental advancements, lawyers are vital to advancing a sustainable and vibrant energy sector.
  • Technology must be used wisely. Spahn, a recognized authority on legal ethics, spoke on the ethical implications of conducting business and providing legal advice across state lines and through artificial intelligence. While technology expands geographical capabilities and responsiveness, energy lawyers must use technology wisely to provide reliable legal advice for the industry in each state.
  • Misinformation can be the activist’s weapon of choice. The energy industry faces repeated attacks by activists to halt energy development and independence. Activists could use misisinformation on social media to deceive the public on a development project. Energy companies must proactively and strategically respond to misinformation to promote public awareness of their safety measures and the social benefits of their activities.