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CERAWEEK 2014

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CERAWEEK 2014, sponsored by IHS Energy, was held from March 3 to March 7, 2014, at the Hilton Americas Hotel in Houston, Texas. It was truly an informative week. The conference focused primarily on energy industries: oil, petrochemicals, refining, natural gas, shale, coal, and nuclear. Government and business leaders from around the world showed up to give perspectives on how these industries are impacted by government policies and technology. Furthermore, trends were analyzed, forecasts made, and even a session on cyber security was held.

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Here is a short list of some of the speakers who attended CERAWEEK (see slideshow):

  • Lisa Murkowski, US Senator from Alaska
  • Emilio Lozoya, CEO of PEMEX
  • Diezani Alison-Madueke, Nigerian Minister of Petroleum Resources
  • Ernest Moniz, US Secretary of Energy
  • Michael Chertoff, former Secretary of Homeland Security
  • Christophe de Margerie, CEO of TOTAL
  • Ben Bernanke, former Chairman of the US Federal Reserve

Needless to say, it was a week full of information, with a great venue and plenty of refreshments. There were so many interesting people there. I would definitely recommend this conference to people in the energy business. My only suggestion is to keep an open mind because though a platform like this presents an opportunity to meet knowledgeable people and hear directly from the industry movers and shakers, it can also be a pitfall for propaganda and disinformation. This is true for any source of information of course, but I would feel more comfortable hearing testimonies from people closer to the "front lines", down in the "trenches" regarding the effects of policy and technology in the industry.

I say this because I did not notice that the conference addressed the issue of flaring methane obtained from shale fracking. I spoke to several people at the conference about this subject and nearly everyone appeared to have the opinion that recovering methane is neither feasible nor profitable. In a world so worried about greenhouse gases, I just do not see how putting more carbon dioxide and methane into the atmosphere without at least getting some energy utility out of it is going to make any sense.

Richard Carranza, www.richardcarranza.com

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