Houston Offshore Technology Conference


Jamie Collis writes....

I have just returned from Houston, Texas where I attended the world’s largest oil & gas exhibition, the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC).  Attending this landmark event in, what has been a turbulent and tough time for many in the energy industry, may have seemed a strange decision, but, in fact, it was a great opportunity to see first-hand the fighting spirit of an industry that won’t go quietly into the night and has a positive future ahead of it.

The drop in the oil price, and the subsequent drop in activity in the offshore sector, did have an impact on visitor numbers – 68,000 people attended OTC, a 30 percent dip on the last year – but despite the drop in delegates, this was still a very busy show with lots of companies having plenty to talk about.

Among them was OES Oilfield Services Group, an offshore inspection specialist owned by Recognition PR client Richard Upshall.  OES won a very prestigious Spotlight on New Technology Award for its Dropped Objects technology innovation, which is some feat when you consider there were thousands of exhibitors showcasing their technological developments.

Richard and his team were early to spot the potential for incorporating IT-based systems into the offshore inspection process and the company is setting breaking new ground in its market, which was reflected by the award it picked up at the show, which also coincided with the group’s 20th anniversary.

One of the themes that is dominating the oil & gas industry as it comes to terms with its new economic environment and what many are calling the new-normal, is the importance of collaboration between companies.  It is something that is well-advocated by business development organisation NOF Energy and was evident at OTC.

Delegates negotiated their way around the many thousands of exhibitors across two massive venues to make al-important connections that would help generate new business through increased inter-company working and collaboration. 

This is an essential way forward as many supply chain companies were very vocal at OTC about the continuing squeeze they are feeling from operators and contractors as they reduce margins to maintain operational viability.

The supply chain has accepted it, but many can’t accept much more and are challenging the big players to find ways to create real change without solely relying on cutting costs.

 And that is where the positive message from OTC 2016 lies.  Stands were adorned with phrases such as, ‘delivering more for less’ and there was substance behind those messages as companies showcased game-changing technologies and the willingness to build tighter supply chains with value-added solutions.

Another Recognition client, Osbit, was also exhibiting at OTC on the UK Pavilion and they gave positive feedback about the connections they had made. 

It demonstrated there is business to be won by innovative technology-led companies in the global oil & gas market and that North East-based companies have the guile, creativity and capabilities to play an important part in the sector's evolving landscape.


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