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Energy transition will depend on ‘companies like ours,’ Lashier says

Oil and gas companies have an important role to play in the energy future, but the transition to a lower-carbon world will require a mix of traditional and alternative fuels, Phillips 66 President and CEO Mark Lashier said at the Argus Americas Crude Summit in Houston. 

In a keynote fireside chat, Lashier warned against abandoning energy sources, and also against depending on a solitary source.

“We’ve got to make sure the world has access to energy that’s abundant and affordable,” said Lashier, “and as benign to the environment as possible.”

The Argus conference is widely seen as the premier commercial crude oil markets event.  Lashier’s 30-minute keynote with Euan Craik, Argus’s global head of oil, followed opening remarks by former President George W. Bush.

Lashier told the audience that Phillips 66 will thrive in the coming decades as the best refiner in the business, a major player in pipelines and chemicals, and a producer of lower-carbon fuels.

“We have a legacy of 150 years, and during that time we’ve always been innovating and looking for different ways to deliver on our vision of providing energy and improving lives,” he said.

Phillips 66 is currently converting its San Francisco Refinery in Rodeo, California, into one of the world’s largest facilities for renewable fuels, which promise to lower carbon emissions in aviation, long-haul trucking and heavy machinery, among other areas.

Lashier said Phillips 66 has had “a seat at the table” with the U.S. Department of Energy around high gasoline prices following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and that markets are self-correcting.

“We were able to have rational discussions, and I believe helped convince the government that export bans are not the answer,” he said.

Indeed, U.S. gasoline prices have declined.

Added Lashier, “There’s not going to be any energy transition without companies like ours, without industries like ours, figuring out ways to provide energy profitably.”