With the final decision on the long-awaited Keystone XL pipeline still hanging in the air, energy experts from around the country will gather March 25 for the 10th Annual Pipeline Opportunities Conference at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston to discuss that and other key issues facing the pipeline industry in North America.
The event is sponsored by Pipeline & Gas Journal and the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America (INGAA) and has become a premiere event for the pipeline industry. Jeff Share, Editor of Pipeline & Gas Journal and founder of the conference, said the one-day program is designed to correspond with the ever-changing business that has now become front-page news.
“From Keystone to the shale revolution to cybersecurity and safety –related issues, pipelines have never drawn this much attention. With social media and rigid political agendas, getting the right information has never been more important for companies trying to move forward,” Share said.
A highlight of the program will be a special presentation from SMU’s prestigious Cox School of Business. Joseph Dancy, Adjunct Professor of Energy and Environmental Law, will offer a review of energy sector performance. Michael Davis, economist and senior lecturer in Strategy and Entrepreneurship, will offer the school’s 2014 Economic Forecast for Texas and the Southwest. Gary Evans, Chairman and CEO of Magnum Hunter Resources Corp., will offer and update on the shale plays, and Bernard Weinstein, associate director of the Maguire Energy Institute and business economist, will describe the Institute’s newest energy industry research.
INGAA President and CEO Donald Santa will provide the latest information from Capitol Hill and explain how ongoing political events during this election year could affect the pipeline industry. INGAA represents the interests of the natural gas transmission industry and Santa, one of the most knowledgeable insiders on energy issues, once served on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
The keynote speaker will be Charles Nevle, manager of Energy Analysis for BENTEK Energy, one of the nation’s leading statistical research firms for the pipeline and energy industry. His topic will be “Energy Revolution: Now That We Believe It, Is It Sustainable?”
With a strong emphasis on pipeline construction, the conference will include a roundtable discussion consisting of four well-known industry executives who will discuss the opportunities and challenges contractors and engineers are facing on a daily basis. The panelists will include Mike Langston, president, Price Gregory International Inc.; Charlie Joyce, Otis Eastern Service Inc.; John Harrower, division vice president, Henkels & McCoy Inc., and Rick Barnard, senior vice president, Americas, Gulf Interstate Engineering Company
Also with an eye on pipeline construction activities will be two prominent energy and pipeline attorneys, Catherine Little and Robert Hogfuss of Hunton & Williams, LLP, who will provide the latest information on legal, regulatory and environmental issues facing pipeline contractors including the status of the Pipeline Safety Act, integrity management, infrastructure expansion including pipeline reversals and regulatory compliance.
Of similar interest to pipeline contractors, owners and operators will be a session entitled Quality Control and Assurance for Gas Pipeline Construction by Carly Voigt, quality manager for GTS, a California-based company that provides consulting services to gas and electric utilities. Her talk will review the emerging quality issues within the gas pipeline construction industry and offer practical solutions to respond to those challenges.
The conference will also include a construction outlook provided by officials of Kinder Morgan Energy Partners.
Then there is the overriding issue of the Keystone XL pipeline project. President Obama is expected to make a final decision in the next couple of months on whether to grant TransCanada Corp. the permit needed to build the cross-border oil pipeline from the Alberta oil sands to the Texas Gulf Coast. Share said the administration has been invited to discuss the project at the conference, provided that a favorable decision is made.
“Certainly no one will appreciate a positive decision more than our audience,” Share said.
In past years the conference has sold out so early registration is strongly suggested. For registration and sponsorship information visit www.pipelineopportunities.com or call Conference Manager Karen Francis at 281 558-6930 x 222 or email at email@example.com.