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Offshore Technology Conference Attendance Proves Strong in Tough Year

HOUSTON, Texas, USA (May 7, 2009) -- Attendance at the 2009 Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) reached 67,721 [updated final number] strong despite a global economic recession and initial concerns about swine flu. Energy professionals from more than 120 countries met at the world’s largest offshore resources industry event, held May 4-7 at Reliant Park in Houston.

Attendance was a little less than in 2008, but exceeded expectations considering economic conditions. The 2009 exhibition was the second largest in OTC’s 40-year history, with more than 557,000 square feet of exhibition area filled to capacity by 2,500 companies from 38 countries.

"This year’s attendance levels underscore that in a downturn, energy professionals come to OTC to learn about technologies and innovative approaches to reduce their costs and improve performance. OTC is known for presenting new and proven technologies that will help companies find and produce more oil and gas in deeper waters, and for sharing lessons learned on global projects that advance the offshore industry," said Don Vardeman, 2009 OTC chairman.

OTC Awards Luncheon keynote speaker Thierry Pilenko, chairman and CEO of Technip, said the challenge in a lower oil price environment is to reduce costs while preserving human capital. “We can stack rigs, but we cannot stack people,” Thierry said. “We must avoid the ‘stop and go’ attitude which is detrimental to our industry’s image, and continue to hire university graduates to avoid future generation gaps and maintain credibility.”

Covering four full days, this year’s technical program offered a full day of sessions on the Arctic, as well as special panel sessions on operating in a volatile market.  OTC’s Spotlight on New Technology program highlighted 14 innovative technologies that are already making the industry more effective.

Celebrating 40 years in 2009, OTC continues to grow and will extend its reach to Brazil to participate in the Brasil Offshore conference, scheduled for 16-19 June 2009. In November 2010, OTC will present the first Arctic Technology Conference, a separate new conference focusing on both offshore and onshore technology for Arctic exploration and development.

The 2010 OTC takes place 3-6 May 2010 at Reliant Center at Reliant Park.