U.S., China meet at UH
for energy forum
By Savoyia Henderson
The Daily Cougar
It was a gas.
Gathering in a dimly lit — and chilly —
banquet hall, nearly 150 energy leaders, all with an interest in oil and
gas, met Thursday and Friday at the UH
Hilton for the Fourth U.S.-China Oil and
Gas Forum. The forum is a partnership involving government and companies
from the United States and
China. Industry leaders from the two nations
work together to develop reliable and economical success of oil and natural
Brian Viney/The Daily Cougar
Participants at the U.S.-China
Oil and Gas Industry Forum gather to discuss natural gas and regulation
Thursday and Friday at the UH Hilton. The
forum was presented by the U.S. Department
of Energy, U.S. Department of Commerce and UH Law Center.
The joint cooperative effort targets three
priority areas: urban air quality, rural electrification and clean energy
sources and energy efficiency. For
China, the forum was an opportunity to
discuss ways to provide electricity to more than seven million people in
Daniel Yergin, a Pulitzer Prize winner
and recipient of the 1997 United States Energy Award for "lifelong achievements
in energy and the promotion of
international understanding," identified
the growth of the gas market, noting it was increasing by 3 percent every
year and could triple by 2020.
The growth of the gas market is dependent
on an energy mix — the convergence of electricity and natural gas, Yergin
said. "The ultimate goal for the
U.S. and China is to create an international
energy company," Yergin said. It is in the two nations' best interest to
meet and discuss natural gas
regulation, pricing, incentives and technology,
Yergin, a recipient of a UH Honorary Degree
and recognized authority on international politics, economics and energy,
cost-efficiency, environment, technology
and natural gas business growth will aid in that convergence.
While the forum was a joint venture, it
was hard not to forget recent problems regarding Enron's collapse and energy
trading, as participants also
addressed regulation, pricing and technologies.
Andrew Derman from Thompson and Knight
L.L.P. said other energy trading companies could be affected.
"There is a crisis of confidence in the
market," said Andrew Derman from Thompson and Knight L.L.P. The loss of
confidence in energy trading
business has to be resolved in order for
the success of other companies to continue, Derman said.
ExxonMobil, McDermott, Burlington and ChevronTexaco
also participated in the event presented by the Institute for Energy, Law
and Enterprise at the
UH Law Center.