CERAWeek: What the rest of the press is saying

There are a lot of reporters here from the major wire services — Reuters, Dow Jones, Bloomberg, Associated Press — and lots of small specialty publications. The goals of the wire services in particular are a bit different from ours (meaning the print and online editions of the Chronicle and this blog). They’re looking for breaking news that might impact markets, both commodity and equity markets, since many of their customers pay money for such information.
We’re trying to keep an eye out for the breaking news, too, but we’re more likely to focus on stories of local impact (i.e is Jim Mulva of ConocoPhillips going to say anything about the Houston-based company’s strategy?). This blog is trying to catch a broader flavor of the conference.
Here are a examples of what other news outlets have been picking up on from the speakers and sessions so far today:
Venezuelan Oil Output Undermined by Chavez, CERA Says (Update1)
By Joe Carroll
Feb. 12 (Bloomberg) — Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez’s policies have cut the South American country’s oil output by 1.2 million barrels a day, enough to supply 80 percent of U.S. East Coast demand, according to Cambridge Energy Research Associates.
Production from Venezuelan fields has plunged by more than one-third since Chavez assumed the presidency in 1999 because of a lack of investment by the country’s state oil company, Rene Ortiz, a Cambridge Energy Research Associates senior associate, said today in an interview in Houston. Another factor was the replacement of engineers with military personnel ill-equipped to manage oil fields, he said.
Crude Oil Refiners Must Prepare For Different Supplies -CERA
February 12, 2008: 11:20 AM EST
HOUSTON (AP)–Global refiners will have to invest significantly in coming years to reconfigure their operations and meet growing supplies of feedstocks other than conventional crude oil, a new report says.
Not doing so could contribute to shortfalls of diesel, heating oil and other fuel sources, according to a new analysis by Cambridge Energy Research Associates. The energy consultancy released the report Tuesday at its annual gathering of industry executives, academics and analysts.
ConocoPhillips sees progress in Venezuela talks
HOUSTON, Feb 12 (Reuters) – ConocoPhillips (COP.N: Quote, Profile, Research) Chief Executive James Mulva said on Tuesday the oil company was making progress in talks with Venezuela’s state-run oil company PDVSA over compensation for its oil operations that were seized there last year.
Mulva also told reporters the company had already submitted information to the Iraqi government to preregister for potential oil contracts there.
He also said the U.S. economy was showing signs of weakness and beginning to affect the oil industry.
“We’re starting to see that demand is not as strong as it was. The economy has softened,” he said.

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