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Public Will Demand More Oil Regulation: Conoco CEO

James Mulva
James Mulva

The public, both the American and throughout the world, will demand greater regulation of the oil industry, in light of the BPGulf of Mexico spill, James Mulva, chairman and CEO of ConocoPhillips , told CNBC Friday.

Mulva spoke in St. Petersburg, Russia. He is among the A-list of executives and business leaders in the former imperial capital of Russia for the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, which continues until Saturday.

“I think from a governmental point of view, the American and world public will demand better response capability,” said Mulva.

“We believe that the technologies can be developed, and they need to be developed, because the response is inadequate and the American people will look to the industry to make sure that we improve our response capability,” added Mulva. “We need to do that as an industry.”

The CEO said that his company has been active in recent lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico to increase its presence there. Currently, the company has only one platform in the gulf. He said that the gulf region represents only 1 percent of the corporation's worldwide production.

Mulva added that natural gas development represents major opportunities for ConocoPhillips. Unlike some other forms of energy, such as solar and wind, he said, natural gas can be used to run cars.

"What's good about natural gas is that it's the cleanest of the available fossil fuels, and we have abundance of it. So [with natural gas] we can develop indigenous resources in the United States: It promotes investment, it promotes jobs."

He added that the United States, unlike Eastern Europe, for instance, has the infrastructure in place to pipe natural gas to other locales within the country.

"We’re a big producer of natural gas, so we're developing LNG [liquid natural gas] projects in different parts of the world—in the Middle East, Asia, other places."

You can see much more of Maria's interview with Mulva, including his comments about alternative energy sources and international taxation of oil and gas companies, on "Closing Bell", 3-5pm ET today.

For the full interview, clickhere.

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