March 11, 2020 / 6:14 PM / 18 days ago

AFPM cancels annual refining industry conference on coronavirus concerns

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers canceled on Wednesday its annual refining industry conference over coronavirus concerns, adding to the events scrapped as the global outbreak of the virus spreads across the United States.

The conference, scheduled to take place in Austin, Texas, later this month, was one of the largest U.S. conferences to bring together oil refining industry officials and chief executives. The conference regularly drew more than 1,000 participants, AFPM said.

“It is clear to us that canceling these meetings is the right course of action to protect the health and safety of our meeting registrants and vendors, our staff, and the Austin and New Orleans communities,” said AFPM Chief Executive Chet Thompson in a statement.

The group also canceled its International Petrochemical Conference scheduled for the end of the month in New Orleans.

More than 119,100 people have been infected by the coronavirus across the world and 4,298 have died, the vast majority in China, according to a Reuters tally. The United States has 975 cases and 30 deaths.

Reporting by Stephanie Kelly; Editing by Richard Chang

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