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CERAWeek energy conference canceled over concerns about coronavirus outbreak

Attendees walk through the lobby during the 2016 IHS CERAWeek conference in Houston, Texas, U.S., on Thursday, Feb. 25, 2016.

Matthew Busch | Bloomberg | Getty Images

The annual CERAWeek energy conference, which was scheduled to take place in Houston from March 9 to March 13, has been canceled due to the increased spread of coronavirus, according to IHSMarkit, the consultancy that has held the event every year since 1981.

“We do this with deep disappointment,” the group said in a statement issued Sunday on its website.

“Over the last few days concern has mounted rapidly about the COVID-19 coronavirus. The World Health Organization raised the threat level on Friday, the U.S. government cancelled a summit meeting scheduled in Las Vegas, an increasing number of companies are instituting travel bans and restrictions, border health checks are becoming more restrictive and there is growing concern about large conferences with people coming from different parts of the world. Delegates from over 80 countries were expected to participate in CERAWeek 2020.”

CERAWeek is the energy industry’s biggest conference and annually draws senior executives from around the world. The group said it will plan ahead for CERAWeek 2021.

This is not the first event that has been canceled over the coronavirus outbreak.

Facebook this past week announced its decision to cancel its annual F8 software developer conference due to concerns surrounding the outbreak. Game Developers Conference, a major event for video game programmers and designers, has been postponed.

The Mobile World Congress, the world’s largest technology trade show held in Barcelona, was called off after companies including Facebook pulled out. Concerts across Asia have been canceled. The annual Geneva International Motor Show was also canceled.

On Saturday, the first death in the U.S. from the coronavirus was confirmed in Washington state. There are 72 confirmed coronavirus cases nationwide. Globally, there are more than 87,000 confirmed cases and at least 2,990 deaths, most of them in China where the illness first emerged. 

Read the full statement from IHSMarkit here.