NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The most powerful individuals in the energy sector converged on Houston this week to exchange ideas and address the latest industry developments.
The most prestigious energy conference in the United States, IHS's CERAWeek, featured addresses by Chevron (CVX) CEO John Watson, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R., Alaska), TOTAL S.A. (TOT) CEO Christophe de Margerie, and others.
TheStreet sat down with many of the attendees to report the hottest topics facing the sector.
TransCanada (TRP) CEO Russ Girling, whose company control building of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, said he was frustrated by a Nebraska court's ruling that struck down their ability to build through the state.
Girling said the Keystone project enjoys the support of the majority of Americans. TransCanada's chief also said escalation in the Ukraine crisis will force suppliers to seek different locations for diversification.
Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R., Alaska) made her case for why the United States should lift its oil export ban. The senator also said Russia's movement into Ukraine demonstrates that the country is using its energy assets as a political lever.
TOTAL S.A. CEO Christophe de Margerie stopped by to discuss the latest ventures his company is tackling. De Margerie said it would be important to reduce operating expenses and control capital expenses. The chief executive said he's prepared for the challenges of the company's deep water South Africa project, and he reminded investors that the Ukraine crisis has no direct impact on the company's Yamal project in Russia. As for where de Margerie is personally excited for growth, he said, "Who cares?"