CERAWeek: What others are saying

By the first Power Day at CERA much of the media horde has died out, but the stories continue to roll out. Here are some of them.
The New York Times declares that The Oil Industry Ready to Work on Global Warming:

“Confronted with a sharp change of priorities in Washington, international oil executives are expressing an eagerness to work with President Obama to fashion new policies to tackle global warming.
At an industry conference here this week, the executives struck a conciliatory tone on how to limit the emissions that are contributing to climate change, with many of them sounding like budding conservationists as they stressed energy efficiency and the need to develop renewable fuels.
At the same time, they declared that the country would still need oil for a long time, and sought to persuade the new administration of the need for more drilling off the nation’s coasts.

Reuters reports on tough times for power producers:

“U.S. utility executives on Thursday painted a grim picture of slumping electricity sales due to a sagging U.S. economy, and the likelihood of cutting capital expenditures for new power plants and transmission lines is rising.
PPL Corp (PPL.N) Chief Executive James Miller said the holding company’s Pennsylvania utility saw power demand drop by about 0.5 percent in late 2008, compared to expected annual growth of 1.5 percent.
“If this recession gains steam, and I think it will, we will see more demand destruction,” Miller told the CERAWeek conference.”

Low oil prices has also slowed the race for arctic oil:

“The potential payoff is huge – the U.S. Geological Survey estimates that a quarter of the world’s undiscovered oil and natural gas lies in the Arctic.
But the price tag for drilling wells and sustaining energy extraction in a desolate, uninhabitable winterland is also huge. And with crude oil prices down over $100 a barrel from July’s record highs, some experts are wondering if even giant international oil companies can foot the bill.
Oil prices would have to hit $100/bbl versus recent levels near $35/bbl to justify multibillion-dollar investments, said Timothy Krysiek, an energy expert at Cambridge Energy Research Associates.”

D.C.’s enthusiasm for “clean energy” is looking good for natural gas producers, notes the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram:

“I’m heartened by a rising awareness of the value of natural gas in Washington,” said Skip Horvath, president of the Natural Gas Supply Association, which represents producers. The remarkable growth in U.S. natural gas supply, largely the result of new sources like the Barnett Shale, is only now becoming familiar to policy makers looking for a plentiful, relatively clean power source, Horvath said.

The Deal does a wrap on the M&A talk around the conference:

Attendees seem to concur that buyers and sellers are still having a hard time agreeing on price in this environment of little credit and volatile commodity prices. “There’s a mismatch between buyers’ desires and sellers’ expectations,” Louis Baldwin, CFO of XTO Energy Inc., said Thursday. Bill Christensen, VP of strategic planning at Pengrowth Energy Trust, agreed: “As we talk to potential sellers, they’re looking at $100 oil, and we’re looking at $40 oil.”