Summit Notebook

Exclusive outtakes from industry leaders

Arch: demand outstripping supply


The nation’s second-largest coal producer says “demand is outstripping our ability to supply” and expects “2009 and 2010 continuing to be strong years.”

Fred Katayama reports from Houston.

China quake disrupts supply lines


The massive earthquake in China last month – its worst in three decades – hit global supply chains as well as changed the picture for energy demand for the world’s most populous country.
“Everybody knows the human tragedy over there, but there’s been very little discussion around what does this mean on the industrial front,” said John Krenicki President and CEO of GE Energy.

“I think it’s going to be a big story, just like what were the after-effects of Katrina,” he said.    Listen to Krenicki’s comments here.
Guy Caruso, head of the Energy Information Administration, talked about how  quake damage to some coal-fired power plants, as well as the Olympics, could boost oil demand in China, at least temporarily.  Listen to Caruso’s comments here.

Could the IEA become the IEEA?


The head of one of the world’s biggest consumer bodies the
International Energy Agency, the IEA for short, has ambitions to
add an extra E to his three-letter acronym.

The IEA was set up in the 1970s to defend consumer interests
in the face of the Arab oil embargo. It still spends much of its
energy thinking about oil, but more and more it is also thinking
about the environment.

Video – Using tech to end blackouts


Some businesses are practicing what’s known as demand response — using computer software and the internet to control energy usage.When the grid is danger of a power outage, Boston-based EnerNoc sends out an email to its subscribers, and using an electronic meter, it remotely turns down non-essential power.

Conway Gittens reports.

$130 oil to dominate proceedings


The Reuters Global Energy Summit 2008 has kicked off, and unsurprisingly, near-record oil prices are the hot topic. Nippon Oil’s president warns that “Oil will self destruct,” saying the high prices open the door to alternative energy. Japan’s largest refiner is also looking to speed up plans to export more oil products as it seeks to escape slowing domestic demand.

Audio – Pemex paints grim picture of Mexico’s oil future


pemex.jpgWith Congress and political parties mired in energy reform talks, monopoly Pemex painted a grim outlook for Mexico’s oil industry if foreign partnerships for deep sea production are not allowed.
Pemex Exploration and Production Chief Carlos Morales told the Reuters Latin America Investment Summit that the company’s first six deepwater exploration wells found no oil and how production at more of the country’s Gulf fields will follow Cantarell into decline in the years ahead. He also said that a planned oil sector reform would be crippled if it excludes alliances with experienced foreign partners. 

Audio – Baby steps for FO network, PLC in Mexico


cfe.jpgNew technologies that enable a wider distribution of basic communications in Mexico are taking longer than expected to take off amid struggles between companies interested in accessing cheaper networks and high launch costs.
   A vast fiber optic network owned by Mexico’s Federal Electricity Commission (CFE), good for transporting data all across the country,  is currently used by just a handful of telephone firms seeking to bypass what they often criticize as very high fees from the dominant fixed-line phone company.
   CFE’s chief Alfredo Elias Ayub told Reuters said during the Third Latin America Investment Summit that in a couple of months there could be news about fiber optic rentals to new companies.
    He also shared his views about why power line communications, which carry information over the powerline, are stalled due to the high price of modems and the lack of sufficient research in countries like Mexico.

Audio – If you’re in Florida, you can’t see this blog


santacana1.jpgA power outage that affected millions of electricity customers in Florida on Tuesday may be a sign of things to come.

U.S. utilities have underinvested in capacity in recent years, and densely populated areas where demand is high may be facing more future blackouts as a result — that’s according to the North American CEO of Swiss/Swedish engineering group ABB.

Audio – Greehey takes road le$$ traveled, ends up wealthy man


greehey.jpgIf Bill Greehey obeyed the first three rules of investing — diversification, diversification and diversification – he wouldn’t be the wealthy man he is today. Greehey founded Valero and built it up to be the largest U.S. refiner at a time when others were running for the exits. All the while, he plowed every bonus he had back into Valero stock.  After 900 percent returns over 10 years, he’s a happy man. 

Audio – Parker Drilling and the rise of the national oil company


Executives at the major oil and gas companies have worried for years about the rise of national oil companies, or NOCs, who are locking away their countries’ reserves for themselves. But not Parker Drilling, which has signed Saudi Aramco, Petrobras and other NOCs to contracts to use its rigs to tap new supplies. CEO Robert Parker talks about adapting to the new energy world of the NOCs, and the changing roles for the oil majors.