HOUSTON, Texas – In spite of low oil prices, there were still 94,700 in attendance at the 2015 Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) at NRG Park in Houston May 4-7. The OTC reports that these attendance numbers still represent the sixth-largest gathering in the conference’s 47-year history.
The sold-out exhibition was the largest in show history. There was 695,005 feet of indoor and outdoor exhibits which was up from 2014 numbers of 680,025 feet.
There were more exhibitors this year – an increase of almost five percent, 2,682 this year compared to 2,568 last year. There were 37 countries represented. Forty-two percent of the exhibitors were from international companies.
Those who attended the OTC were from 130 countries.
In a statement obtained from Breitbart Texas, Chairman Ed Stokes said “OTC continues to bring the world to Houston. The record-setting number of paper submissions ensured a high-quality technical program, covering the latest innovations and applications. Coupled with superb panels, in-depth executive keynotes, a new crop of Spotlight on New Technology award winners and a record-setting exhibition, OTC drew everyone from CEOs to engineers to government officials.”
The OTC is considered the leading forum for gathering and sharing offshore oil and gas information. The goal of the conference according to the OTC website, is to “advance scientific and technical knowledge for the safe, environmentally friendly and sustainable development of offshore oil and gas resources.”
There were 11 panel sessions, 29 executive keynote presentations at luncheons and breakfasts, and almost 300 technical paper presentations.
Speakers came from major, independent, and national oil companies. Regional and federal government officials also served as speakers. Topics discussed included the future of the industry, operational integrity, and risk management.
Teachers and students from the Houston area numbering around 400 strong attended. They gained knowledge of the industry while seeing the opportunities the industry offers.
The OTC also conducted The Rice Alliance Startup Roundup which gave 50 emerging companies the opportunity to meet with investors.
There was also a conference called The Next Wave for 500 young professionals. This conference focused on the challenges ahead for these professionals.
The continued importance of deep water exploration and future offshore moves was also discussed. The International Oil and Gas Producers had a panel discussion on the need to simplify and standardize specifications to keep costs down, to allow the faster development of news projects, and to continue to improve safety.
Although attendance was down 12.6 percent from a high of 108,300 last year, Rick Slemaker, publisher of Energy Magazine told Breitbart Texas in an interview “Offshore is still as strong as ever. Onshore has slowed substantially but deep water contracts take longer to mature and prices do not affect production as much. Overhead is the same but the costs are much less because interest rates are much less for big players because they finance themselves. The key big players in the Gulf have much less debt than those onshore.”
Slemaker predicts that oil prices will still be low for two more years unless something major internationally occurs.
The magazine publisher told Breitbart Texas “The high number of exhibitors says a lot. The offshore business is stronger than onshore.”
Lana Shadwick is a contributing writer and legal analyst for Breitbart Texas. Follow her on Twitter @LanaShadwick2