Ukraine crisis weighs heavy as CERAWeek, thousands of energy leaders return to Houston

After nearly two weeks of deepening crisis in Ukraine, oil prices have reached $120 a barrel and pushed gasoline prices to record levels. In Houston, that concern is front-and-center of a massive meeting of energy leaders. 

CERAWeek has returned to the energy capital of the world, after the gathering of thousands at the Hilton Americas Hotel and George R. Brown Convention Center, was sidelined by COVID.

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The discussions at CERAWeek help shape the global path of meeting the world's energy needs for the future. Gathering face-to-face helps bring those people and ideas together. 

"It really makes a material difference and impact," says CERAWeek founder Jamey Rosenfield, who thinks this is a critical time for those discussions, as hostilities in Ukraine have pushed humanitarian concerns and energy security to the front of people's minds.

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"The events that have taken place in Europe, and the armed conflict in Ukraine, have just revealed how critical is energy security and access to secure sources of hydrocarbons," says Rosenfield.

In the long-term though, there appears widespread commitment to 'decarbonizing' our energy consumption, turning to wind, solar, even hydrogen, to power our needs. Long-term, however, current events show fossil fuels need to be secured.


"As you move toward renewables, you begin to decarbonize, you have a more distributed energy system, it can be very helpful for energy security," says Rosenfield. "At the same time, in the short term, we're not going to get there right away. Energy transitions take decades."