CERA meet under Enron cloud

CERA week was overshadowed by the Enron affair. Industry leaders were encouraged to engage in ‘sound business practices.’

The annual meeting of oil and gas leaders hosted by Cambridge Energy Research Associates – CERA Week was a subdued affair this year. CERA MD James Rosenfield reminded participants that they were ‘at the epicenter of worldwide changes.’

Industry turmoil

Industry turmoil subsequent to Enron’s failure was discussed. Panelists discussing ‘The New World for Trading and Risk Management’ said it was too soon after the Enron bankruptcy to determine what the next ‘new idea’ would be, suggesting successful strategies for growth in energy trading, should include ‘sound business and financial practices, risk mediation, and consolidation.’ One speaker noted a change in business strategy from growth at all costs to ‘steady, reliable earnings.’ The real winners were companies with a consistent long term strategy.

Gas demand to double

During the natural gas session, one speaker opined that demand was set to double by 2020 and that gas was ‘the ideal bridge between a growing economy and the environment.’ Gas future looks strong, with real opportunities for the industry worldwide, according to both international and domestic providers.


Stephen Butler, chairman and CEO of KPMG said that the accounting profession must change metrics to ‘stay current with the new ways businesses find value.’ Mary Tolan, Managing Partner for Accenture, questioned whether what we are experiencing is indeed a ‘new world’ or merely the downside of a regular business cycle. Algerian Minister of Energy and Mines Chakib Khelil noted ‘blatant living conditions disparities’ as a major risk factor.

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