August and September 2017 Commerce Club

August 2017 Commerce Club Luncheon
Featuring U.S. Congressman John Culberson, 7th District of Texas

An enthusiastic John Culberson cited Texas as a “role model” for how to get business flourishing at the August 10th Commerce Club at Brady’s Landing. Speaking to 150+ attendees, the congressman touched on a variety of topics related to the economic health of Texas in general and the port region in particular.

Culberson lauded the positive effects of the shale boom, praising the “genius engineering” that unlocked the formations as a resource and noting it as an economic driver for the nation. He also reviewed current legislative efforts to reduce bureaucracy, complete tax reform and ease regulation to provide more business opportunity. Culberson reiterated his support for the “innovative” partnership and measures that keep the Houston Ship Channel region infrastructure secure.

“The Houston Ship Channel Security District is a success story we’re going to repeat across the country,” said Culberson.

September 2017 Commerce Club Luncheon
Featuring Andrew Lipow, President
Lipow Oil Associates

The September Commerce Club, hosted at the DoubleTree by Hilton Houston Hobby Airport, kicked off with a brief address from CAPT Kevin Oditt, USCG, regarding Hurricane Harvey port-related response and recovery. Lauding the efforts of first responders from all agencies, CAPT Oditt added, “I could not be more proud of the Coast Guard team that came together from all over the country.” Oditt indicated over 100,000 rescues had been made during the storm, and he believed that the number could easily be doubled if the efforts of unknown volunteers were added into the count. Oditt said he was equally impressed by the port communication team that came together to get the port region open for business. Thanking everyone for their continued work, Oditt stayed available for further discussions after the close of the luncheon’s program.

Speaker Andrew, Lipow, president of Lipow Oil Associates, discussed storm impacts on crude oil production, first highlighting the dip in refining capacity on the Texas coast as operations shut down and the restart timeline. Describing a flood event as a “completely different story” from a hurricane force winds event, Lipow said impacted refineries could take one to two months to start-up. The destruction of electric motors by flood waters is common and two weeks of damage assessment is frequently needed before considering start-up. Overall, though, he felt damage to the Texas coast refinery system as a whole had been minimal in scale, and production should continue to steadily increase.

Lipow went on to speak about “Houston and Its Competition”, noting the region’s position in the energy sectors of crude oil production, pipeline logistics, terminal expansions, and exports. He gave an overview of activities in Texas ports, citing pipeline development and land availability as economic growth potential for Corpus Christi and Port Arthur/Beaumont. Lipow summed up his presentation with factors favorable to the port region’s economic development opportunities, including petrochemical plant expansion and expediting their products into export.

“The oil market will come back into balance,” he concluded.

Editor’s Note: The Greater Houston Coffee Association will feature Michael Gaviña, Incoming Chair of the National Coffee Association at their annual luncheon on October 12, 2017. The luncheon will be hosted at DoubleTree by Hilton Houston Hobby Airport. Individual seats and table sponsorships are available. Reserve your seat at or by calling (713) 678-4300.

  • Date October 25, 2017
  • Tags October 2017