Fall 2012 Distinguished Leaders Series Kicks off with Experts
from Encana Natural Gas, Inc., AGL Resources and Cheniere Energy
The C. T. Bauer College of Business at the University of Houston hosted a discussion on the pros and cons of liquefied natural gas — a subject being debated in the media and in politics — on Sept. 25 during the first Distinguished Leaders Series event of the fall semester.
The commercial viability of exporting the alternative fuel source is top of mind for energy companies, making it a natural subject of discussion for the DLS series, which is presented by AGL Resources and their Houston-based companies and highlights topical energy issues in business.
Held in Cemo Hall, the session brought students, alumni, faculty and members of the business community together to examine “The Global Business of Liquefied Natural Gas.” The panel featured Dean Purcelli, strategic marketing director for Encana Natural Gas, Inc.; Stephen J. Cittandine, president of storage and fuels for AGL Resources; and Michael Wortley, vice president of business development for Cheniere Energy.
“At the Bauer College, our role is to be the leader in education that speaks to the energy business,” said Dean Latha Ramchand. “We’ve developed coursework to bring in experts in the industry to discuss these problems, and that’s why we have these series, so that we can connect the students and the experts together.”
This is a critical time for decision makers in the energy industry as the natural gas industry expands at an unprecedented rate, Purcelli told the audience.
“For the first time in the marketplace, we’re not under-supplied in an over-demanding market. We’re exactly the opposite,” he said. “We may not be able to turn on the spigot quite as quickly as we’d like, and that puts us in a dilemma, or an opportunity, for the country to have an over-supply. That’s why we see a long-term opportunity for this product.”
Launched in 2002 with Charles T. “Ted” Bauer as the first speaker, the DLS has recently featured topics on natural gas in the green space, oil and shale gas, and global energy supply chain. For AGL Resources Executive Vice President Peter Tumminello, the series is just one way that the company connects to the college and the community.
“Our company really takes our relationship with the University of Houston and Bauer College seriously,” he said. “Not only do we sponsor events; we come here and teach classes, and the students we hire come from UH. It’s a great partnership and an ultimate win-win between industry and academia.”
The next Distinguished Leaders Series event will be held on Nov. 13, with a reception in the lobby of Cemo Hall at 5 p.m. followed by a discussion on “A Day in the Life of an Energy Trader” at 6 p.m. in Stubblefield Auditorium. Click here to register to attend.
By Amanda Sebesta