Key Issues Taken on at Pipeline Conference

August 2015, Vol. 242, No. 8

Pipeline & Gas Journal’s 11th annual Pipeline Opportunities Conference brought in 400 attendees from throughout North America, all focused on getting the most up-to-date information regarding the oil and natural gas industry.

In addition to a full day’s worth of conference presentations and roundtables, guests had ample time to network during the even held March 24 at the Royal Sonesta Hotel in Houston’s Galleria district.

Said conference organizer Jeff Share, Editor of Pipeline & Gas Journal, “Our industry never seems to lack for news, but the unexpected price collapse of oil prices coupled with surging natural gas production have raised a lot of concern in every sector of the energy business, including pipelines, which one would normally assume should be immune to such issues. But that hasn’t been the case, as we’re seeing throughout the service sector.”

Keynote speaker was Adam Sieminski, administrator of the federal Energy Information Administration, and one of the foremost authorities on energy issues. He explained the ongoing pricing dilemma, suggesting it would not change dramatically over the near term.

Director W. Bruce Bullock, Associate Director Bernard L. Weinstein, Adjunct Professor of Energy and Environmental Law Joseph R. Dancy and board member Gary C. Evans (also chairman and CEO of Magnum Hunter Resources Corp.) comprised a panel from the Maguire Energy Institute at SMU’s Cox School of Business that opened the conference with a discussion of the numerous economic, legal and political factors affecting the oil and gas industry, including environmental challenges and producing products in a time of abnormally low prices.

Events in Mexico are earning increased attention as that nation’s energy reform continues. Discussing the opportunities in Mexico were Dr. David Madero Suarez, director general, The National Center for Control of Natural Gas and Pablo C. Ferrante, partner, Mayer Brown, LLP.

Prior to Sieminiski’s luncheon address, Donald F. Santa, president and CEO of the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America, provided an insider’s view of events pertaining to energy issues in Washington, DC involving federal agencies, the legislative and executive branches of government.

Lori Traweek, senior vice president and chief operating officer of the American Gas Association, moderated a panel discussion involving leading utility executives on what the nation’s gas distribution companies are doing to make their operations safer and more environmentally friendly, while increasing efficiency. Joining her were Cheryl Campbell, vice president of Gas, Xcel Energy; Tal R. Centers Jr., vice President, Safety & Gas System Integrity, CenterPoint Energy, and Jorge L. Cardenas, vice president- Asset Management & Centralized Services, Public Service Electric & Gas Company.
Cliff Johnson, president of the Pipeline Research Council International, describes the growing number of industry-wide efforts designed to improve natural gas and crude oil operating practices, which PRCI helps coordinate.

The final speaker was energy analyst Luke Jackson of Bentek Energy, a leading industry consultancy, which provided in-depth information on the factors affecting future pipeline development in the United States.

The 12th annual Pipeline Opportunities Conference will be held March 22, 2016 at the J.W. Marriott Hotel in Houston’s Galleria district. Sponsorships are available now. Many include furnished 10-foot by 10-foot booths. Networking opportunities include: breakfast buffet, midmorning break and plated luncheon. For details, visit

W. Bruce Bullock, director of the Maguire Energy Institute

Joseph R. Dancy, adjunct professor of Energy and Environmental Law, SMU Dedman School of Law

Bernard L. Weinstein, associate director of the Maguire Energy Institute

Gary C. Evans, chairman and CEO of Magnum Hunter Resources Corp.

Pablo C. Ferrante, partner, Mayer Brown, LLP, left, and Dr. David Madero Suarez, director general, The National Center for Control of Natural Gas.

INGAA President & CEO Donald F. Santa

Lori Traweek, senior vice president & chief operating officer, AGA

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