IHS Markit has decided to cancel next week’s CERAWeek 2020 event, which was due to take place in Houston, due to mounting concerns about the coronavirus.

IHS expressed “deep disappointment” about cancelling this high-profile gathering of energy executives that was set for 9-13 March but highlighted that “over the last few days concern has mounted rapidly about the COVID-19 virus".

It said the World Health Organization raised its threat level on 28 February, the US government cancelled a summit in Las Vegas, while an increasing number of companies are instituting travel bans and restrictions.

The event organiser added that border health checks are becoming more restrictive and there is heightened concern about large conferences with people coming from different parts of the world.

“Our number one concern is the health and safety of delegates and speakers, our partners, our colleagues and vendors,” said IHS.

“We have spent the last several weeks focused on this question, established a medical partnership with Houston Methodist Hospital, have been in continuing dialogue with experts on infectious disease, and established an extensive protocol. We have made this decision reluctantly and after deep consideration.”

IHS continues to plan for CERAWeek 2021 in March next year.

The cancellation came just weeks after organisers of the China International Petroleum & Petrochemical Technology & Equipment Exhibition, or cippe2020, postponed the Beijing event.

In addition, the OTC Asia event scheduled for Kuala Lumpur this month, has been postponed to August this year.