One of the biggest conventions for the global energy sector has been cancelled amid fears surrounding COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.
CERAweek, held annually in Houston, Texas by IHS Markit, was scheduled from March 9 to 13, and was announced as being cancelled on Sunday.
“Our number one concern is the health and safety of delegates and speakers, our partners, our colleagues and vendors,” reads a statement released by IHS Markit. “We have spent the last several weeks focused on this question, established a medical partnership with Houston Methodist Hospital, have been in continuing dialogue with experts on infectious disease, and established an extensive protocol.
“But the spread of COVID-19 is moving quickly around the world.”
This year’s conference included a planned presentation by Alberta Premier Jason Kenney, who was set to join Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe to discuss Canada’s role as a producer of crude oil and natural gas.
The panel would have also discussed how western Canada has struggled with its pipeline capacity, and the “outlook and opportunities” for the western Canadian energy market.
Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi was scheduled to attend along with David Layzell, a professor and director of the Canadian Energy Systems Analysis Research Initiative at the University of Calgary.
In total, delegates from more than 80 countries were expected to participate in CERAWeek 2020.
“We have made this decision reluctantly and after deep consideration,” reads the statement from IHS Markit.
Canada currently has seen 20 total cases of coronavirus: 11 in Ontario, eight in British Columbia and one in Quebec. The United States reported its first death from the virus on Saturday.
The CERAWeek event in 2021 is currently planned for March 1 to 5 of next year.