Cambridge Energy Research Associates

Cambridge Energy Research Associates

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Cambridge Energy Research Associates (CERA) is a consulting company in the United States that specializes in advising governments and private companies on energy
In physics, energy is an indirectly observed quantity. It is often understood as the ability a physical system has to do work on other physical systems...

 markets, geopolitics, industry trends, and strategy. CERA has research and consulting staff across the globe and covers the oil, gas, power, and coal markets worldwide.

The company was founded in 1983 by Pulitzer Prize
Pulitzer Prize
The Pulitzer Prize is a U.S. award for achievements in newspaper and online journalism, literature and musical composition. It was established by American publisher Joseph Pulitzer and is administered by Columbia University in New York City...

 winning author Daniel Yergin
Daniel Yergin
Daniel Howard Yergin is an American author, speaker, and economic researcher. Yergin is the co-founder and chairman of Cambridge Energy Research Associates, an energy research consultancy. It was acquired by IHS Inc...

 and James Rosenfield. Comprising experts from many fields within the energy industry, CERA was acquired by IHS
IHS Inc.
IHS Inc. is a publicly traded business information services company based in Douglas County, Colorado, United States.IHS serves international clients in five major areas: energy, product lifecycle, environment, security and TMT . IHS provides industry data, technical documents, custom software...

 Energy in 2004. In 2009 it modified its name to IHS Cambridge Energy Research Associate or IHS CERA as part of the IHS brand integration in which name changes also took place for other endorsed brands under IHS, including IHS Jane's
Jane's Information Group
Jane's Information Group is a publishing company specializing in transportation and military topics.-History:It was founded by Fred T...

, IHS Global Insight
Global Insight
Global Insight is the world's largest economics organization, serving over 3,800 clients in industry, finance and government worldwide, with revenues of over $95 million and employing more than 600 economists and other staff in 23 offices in 13 countries...

, and IHS Herold.


Some of the company's largest clients include international energy companies, energy consumers, governments, utilities, technology companies, and financial institutions. Many of them attend "CERAWeek", the company's annual conference held at the Hilton Americas Hotel in Houston, Texas
Houston, Texas
Houston is the fourth-largest city in the United States, and the largest city in the state of Texas. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, the city had a population of 2.1 million people within an area of . Houston is the seat of Harris County and the economic center of , which is the ...

. Daily programs usually revolve around the topics of oil, natural gas, electric power, renewables, and technology.

Past keynote speeches have been given by the energy secretaries and ministers of Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia , commonly known in British English as Saudi Arabia and in Arabic as as-Sa‘ūdiyyah , is the largest state in Western Asia by land area, constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and the second-largest in the Arab World...

, Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

, Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

, Norway
Norway , officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic unitary constitutional monarchy whose territory comprises the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula, Jan Mayen, and the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard and Bouvet Island. Norway has a total area of and a population of about 4.9 million...

, and the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. Other notable speakers have included former United States Secretary of the Treasury
United States Secretary of the Treasury
The Secretary of the Treasury of the United States is the head of the United States Department of the Treasury, which is concerned with financial and monetary matters, and, until 2003, also with some issues of national security and defense. This position in the Federal Government of the United...

 Robert Rubin
Robert Rubin
Robert Edward Rubin served as the 70th United States Secretary of the Treasury during both the first and second Clinton administrations. Before his government service, he spent 26 years at Goldman Sachs eventually serving as a member of the Board, and Co-Chairman from 1990-1992...

, United States Secretary of Energy
United States Secretary of Energy
The United States Secretary of Energy is the head of the United States Department of Energy, a member of the President's Cabinet, and fifteenth in the presidential line of succession. The position was formed on October 1, 1977 with the creation of the Department of Energy when President Jimmy...

 Samuel Bodman, former Colorado
Colorado is a U.S. state that encompasses much of the Rocky Mountains as well as the northeastern portion of the Colorado Plateau and the western edge of the Great Plains...

United States Senate
The United States Senate is the upper house of the bicameral legislature of the United States, and together with the United States House of Representatives comprises the United States Congress. The composition and powers of the Senate are established in Article One of the U.S. Constitution. Each...

 Gary Hart
Gary Hart
Gary Hart is an American politician, lawyer, author, professor and commentator. He served as a Democratic Senator representing Colorado , and ran in the U.S...

; former United States Secretary of Commerce
United States Secretary of Commerce
The United States Secretary of Commerce is the head of the United States Department of Commerce concerned with business and industry; the Department states its mission to be "to foster, promote, and develop the foreign and domestic commerce"...

 Donald L. Evans; , former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan
Alan Greenspan
Alan Greenspan is an American economist who served as Chairman of the Federal Reserve of the United States from 1987 to 2006. He currently works as a private advisor and provides consulting for firms through his company, Greenspan Associates LLC...

, Microsoft
Microsoft Corporation is an American public multinational corporation headquartered in Redmond, Washington, USA that develops, manufactures, licenses, and supports a wide range of products and services predominantly related to computing through its various product divisions...

 CEO Steve Balmer, and former Secretary General of OPEC
OPEC is an intergovernmental organization of twelve developing countries made up of Algeria, Angola, Ecuador, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Venezuela. OPEC has maintained its headquarters in Vienna since 1965, and hosts regular meetings...

 Rilwanu Lukman
Rilwanu Lukman
Rilwanu Lukman is a Nigerian engineer who held several ministerial positions in the Nigerian Federal government before becoming Secretary General of OPEC from 1 January 1995 to 31 December 2000...


Peak Oil

As the controversy over Peak Oil
Peak oil
Peak oil is the point in time when the maximum rate of global petroleum extraction is reached, after which the rate of production enters terminal decline. This concept is based on the observed production rates of individual oil wells, projected reserves and the combined production rate of a field...

 intensified in 2006, CERA found itself on the optimistic side of predictions, forecasting that a peak would not occur before 2020, and this would not be a "peak" but rather an "undulating plateau". This opinion has been met with criticism by those who believe a peak has already occurred or is imminent. In June of 2008, CERA called $120-$150 per barrel the "break point" for oil, the point where demand erosion would halt the price rise.

CERA researchers have predicted in September 2009 that peak demand has come and gone in the OECD world, likely sometime in 2005. This is not, however, in agreement with peak oil, which is more on the extraction and production side. CERA continues to believe that there is plenty of oil under ground. In predicting peak demand in developed countries, CERA states that long-term demand is softening as a result of demographic and socioeconomic changes in developed countries (such as the aging of OECD populations), improved transportation efficiency, and encroachment by substitutes such as biofuels and natural gas.

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