Cambridge Energy Research Associates (CERA) is holding its big annual conference right now in Houston.
John Kingston at Platts has an interesting observation:
ConocoPhillips CEO James Mulva gave a lunch keynote in which he referred to the US’ growing reserves of natural gas as “The Gift.” (It was sort of a play on the fact that Daniel Yergin, chairman of CERA, is the author of the oil industry classic history, “The Prize.”) Andy Inglis, chief executive of exploration and production for BP, also talked about shale gas several times during his presentation as part of the Oil Plenary. A panel on US Energy Policy also kept coming back to the shale gas issue. The evening’s dinner speaker, Eni CEO Paolo Scaroni, said in the first five minutes of his address, “Natural gas is going to be an increasing part of our energy future….the world is awash in gas.”
The CERA meeting is otherwise just way too big and covers too many topics for it to be summed up with a sort-of “theme of the day.” But the repeated “intrusion” of gas into oil day made this year’s meeting an exception.
This isn’t a huge shock to folks that have been paying attention to the deal landscape, where natural gas/shale plays abound.
But we’re still left with a dichotomy in that while private industry is obsessed with gas, there’s still not the emphasis in Washington to help foster a robust natural gas infrastructure. In the long term, it seems like a safe bet, that natural gas will have to get huge, but in the meantime, natural gas bulls continued to get slaughtered while they wait.