Can you tell us about your journey that ended up in Head of International Energy at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) in the UK including your time at the International Energy Agency (IEA)?
My government career has been anchored in economics and finance portfolios in the UK Treasury. The role that took me into energy was leading a team of international economists covering commodities markets, as well as the regions of the Middle East, Africa, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia. From there I joined the International Energy Agency to work for Dr Fatih Birol as a lead author on the World Energy Outlook. Over several years, I led or contributed to a range of IEA reports across pretty much all aspects of the global energy system. I also led the IEA’s work programme on energy access for the poor and was the Executive Director’s Sherpa to the UN and the Secretary-General’s Sustainable Energy for All initiative. My time at the IEA was invaluable – I learnt a huge amount from energy experts all around the world and knew that international energy was what I wanted to focus my career on. Moving back into government I was keen to apply all that I had learned at the IEA and am lucky to be heading-up the UK’s International Energy Unit.
What does your role as Head of BEIS-FCO International Energy Unit at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) in the UK involve?
I lead a multidisciplinary team of economists, policymakers and diplomats that is the centre of expertise on international energy policy and analysis for the UK government. It is a hugely varied role that has me engaging with issues around the globe and across the energy spectrum in the course of a day. My team works internationally to support the UK objective of secure, clean, low-cost energy, as well as other UK objectives where energy can be a material factor, such as aspects of foreign policy, trade and investment, and climate change. We advise UK ministers on a range of international energy issues that cover all fuels all around the world, but with a strong focus beyond the European Union. Specifically, we lead on bilateral and multilateral (G7, G20, etc.) energy policy, UK interests in international energy institutions (IEA, IRENA, etc.), directing and leveraging UK government networks and resources, and working with international energy firms of all shapes and sizes. My team leads of several strategic energy company relationships, as well as with the UK midstream sector more broadly, and on UK emergency oil stocks. My team of economists also take the lead on conducting timely surveillance and analysis of international oil and gas markets.
How do governments such as the UK Government work with multinational energy companies and small- and mid-cap energy companies respectively and how have these relationships evolved over the years?
Too many ways to mention. We work with companies directly, through trade bodies and stakeholder fora, public and industry consultations, and more. In the case of my team, we manage several strategic energy stakeholder relationships for the UK government and are often a port of call when global companies are interested in investing in the UK. Beyond this, we are very much an externally facing team. I make sure to devote part of each week to meeting external stakeholders, and part of each month getting out and about, and encourage my team to do the same. Without a broad set of industry relationships, I think we risk missing potential opportunities. Personally, I also tend to have in mind that while I don’t need to be the expert in everything, I want my team to know the person that is.
About Dan Dorner:
Dan Dorner is Head of International Energy at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) in the United Kingdom (UK). He is the lead official advising UK ministers on bilateral and multilateral energy policy outside of the EU, including the G7 and G20. His team works internationally to deliver UK energy priorities, as well as to advance the delivery of broader UK policy objectives through its energy levers. He also leads the UK’s strategic relationship with several multinational energy companies and the UK midstream oil sector. Previously, he was a Senior Energy Advisor at the International Energy Agency (IEA), where he was a lead author of its World Energy Outlook and many of its related special reports. He also led the IEA’s programme on energy access in developing countries, and was the Executive Director’s Sherpa to the United Nations and the Sustainable Energy for All (SE4All) initiative. He has also previously held a range of domestic and international roles within HM Treasury.
Dan Dorner will be presenting on the opening panel, alongside Aker BP ASA, DEA, Equinor, Schlumberger, B and White and Case, at the 10th World Energy Capital Assembly (WECA).