With the future of the oil and gas industry on everyone’s mind, the 12th annual Pipeline Opportunities Conference on March 22 will bring together industry experts who will explain the challenges facing the energy sector, but will more importantly discuss an active future that awaits them.
The conference is titled “Where Do We Go From Here?” and will be held at the J.W. Marriott Hotel in Houston’s Galleria district. It is sponsored by Pipeline & Gas Journal and co-sponsored by the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America, which represents North America’s pipeline transmission companies.
“If there is one constant certainty, it’s that we have a cyclical industry, though the cycles seem to be occurring quicker and with more severity,” said Jeff Share, Editor of Pipeline & Gas Journal and conference founder.
“No one could have predicted that we would see so many events occurring simultaneously: domestic overproduction meeting slowing demand in China; Iraq’s record oil production; Iran returning to the market; public indifference to infrastructure needs; an openly hostile administration; an abnormally warm winter; and the issue of climate change. But it’s not all bad, not by any means,” said Share, who has been covering the oil and gas industry since 1990, “because there are no alternatives readily available for oil and gas and won’t be for years to come.”
The speakers chosen for the conference will provide timely analysis on these and other critical issues, including unprecedented pressures facing midstream operators. Leading off for a third year will be panelists from the Maguire Energy Institute at Southern Methodist University’s Cox School of Business, all of whom are longtime energy experts including Institute Director Bruce Bullock and Associate Director Bud Weinstein.
The keynote speaker will be ExxonMobil economist Rob Gardner who directs the company’s highly anticipated annual Energy Outlook. In addition to being an international player in the oil market, ExxonMobil is the nation’s leading natural gas producer through its XTO subsidiary.
One big bright spot for 2016 and beyond is the continued pipeline integrity mandates as stiffened federal and state regulations are requiring utilities to spend billions of dollars to upgrade their pipeline systems. Jeff Wiese, associate director for the federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, is the agency’s point man on pipeline safety and will discuss new and looming regulations and how they are likely to impact the industry.
Detailing political activity in Washington and its looming impact on pipelines is Don Santa, president and CEO of INGAA and the INGAA Foundation.
A second significant bright spot calling for a multi-year effort is the transition from coal to natural gas for power-generation plants; the need to build oil and gas pipelines from producing basins such as the Bakken in North Dakota and the Marcellus in Pennsylvania/Ohio/West Virginia to consuming markets; and supplying the global market through increased exports of LNG and the lifting of the ban on exporting crude oil.
On hand to explain those opportunities is a panel of analysts from Genscape Energy Consulting. Adam Bedard, CEO of ARB Midstream, and Curtis Cole, Director, Business Development, Kinder Morgan-East Region: TGP, will provide an outlook from an operator’s perspective.
Yet another bright spot for oil and gas pipelines is Mexico which has begun welcoming foreign investors under its historic Energy Reform Act. Nelly Mikhaiel, from Nexant Consulting, will discuss focus on those prospects in detail.
Registration for the Pipeline Opportunities Conference is open. Discounts are available for multiple people from the same company. $360 for the first person from the company; $175 each additional person from the same company. Day of conference rates: $385/$200 respectively.
To register, visit pipelineopportunities.com.