By Dieter Holger
Oil & Money, one of the world's most influential energy conferences, is in the process of rebranding amid mounting concerns over climate change.
Energy Intelligence, a market consultancy that has hosted the conference since 1979, said Tuesday that starting in 2020 the conference would be called the Energy Intelligence Forum as it moves to "address the challenges of climate change and the energy transition."
For 40 years, the Oil & Money conference has brought together some of the most prominent figures in oil and gas. This year's conference, to be held in London in early October, will host speakers from Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDSA), BP PLC and Total as well as OPEC officials and ministers from Iraq, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. Tickets for the event start at $4,195.
The event hasn't avoided controversy. Last year, environmentalists protested at the event and this year the conference abruptly lost its co-sponsor: The New York Times told Dow Jones Newswires late Monday it had ended its sponsorship of Oil & Money after a decadeslong relationship with the event. The Times attributed its decision to climate-change issues and its expanding coverage of the topic.
"We want there to be no question of our independence or even the potential appearance of a conflict of interest," said Eileen Murphy, senior vice president of corporate communications at the Times.
Ms. Murphy said the Times still respects the work of Energy Intelligence, but that "the subject matter of the conference gives us cause for concern as we continue to invest even more in the coverage of these consequential environmental issues."
Alex Schindelar, president of Energy Intelligence, said the rebranding has been in the works since last year's conference and wasn't a result of the Times's dropping its sponsorship.
"Their decision to end the relationship comes as a disappointment but we completely respect that," Mr. Schindelar said.
Write to Dieter Holger at email@example.com; @dieterholger