Strong attendances and a very positive response to the inaugural industry “Forum” series of presentations and roundtables were some of the highlights of a highly successful 2017 Australasian Oil & Gas Exhibition & Conference (AOG) this week.
Staged for the 36th time, AOG ran from February 22 – 24 at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre (PCEC).
In a reflection that the global petroleum sector is starting to see “green shoots” of hope that the industry is turning around after several of the toughest years in memory, more than 8000 attendees visited the PCEC to see 250 exhibitors from 15 different countries.
Australia’s largest annual oil and gas event, AOG 2017 kicked off with a bang with the ever popular Subsea Welcome Drinks in the grounds of the PCEC on the eve of the main event.
The AOG Exhibition and the Industry Forums got off to a great start the next day with higher than expected visitor numbers and the “Collaboration”, “Knowledge” and “Subsea” Forums attracting packed audiences for every session.
The AOG attendees heard from the leaders of industry that there were indeed positive signs that a cut in capital spending by the oil companies maybe be coming to a close, and that collaboration and innovation must remain a key focus to ensure that Australia takes advantage of its leading LNG producing position.
They also heard that there will be a number of “new” local business opportunities that the service and supply sector must prepare for – these include the maintenance and expansion of the country’s major projects which could see more than US$550 billion outlayed over the next 25 years, and the decommissioning of aging equipment, which could be a US$27 billion industry in its own rights.
AOG 2017 participants also heard news of a number of new industry initiatives that will save the local oil and gas sector millions in the future and also provide Australia with an opportunity to be a global leader in a number of areas.
One of those particularly impressed with the new event format for 2017 is Woodside Chief Operating Officer Michael Utsler who said that his company’s significant involvement in the event had been one of the highlights of a major news week.
“I can genuinely say we are very impressed and pleased with the nature of this conference and the changes that have been implemented to try and provide an integration between the trades themselves and the suppliers who providing service and how problems are being solved.
“It is a very different format, they went out on a limb to try something different – and it seems to have really worked well. The attendance and content at the sessions has been really good.
“Clearly they have struck a very positive chord in what people are wanting to hear and to have an opportunity to hear, versus how it was delivered,” Mr Utsler said.
Forum attendees and exhibition visitors alike experienced the ever evolving technical developments that make the oil and gas industry one of the most dynamic in the world at AOG 2017. MinI ROVS that you could pack in your luggage, pilotless drones that recharge their own batteries and that could undertake number of cost saving activities were just a small sample of the exciting innovations on display. This is the stuff of science fiction for many, but the type of technological breakthroughs the oil and gas expects and accepts.
AOG 2017 Event Director for Diversified Communications, Bill Hare, said the event organisers were very pleased with the strong turnout for this year’s event.
“The oil and gas sector is starting to turn its fortunes around after the low oil price driven downturn and the improved outlook could be measured in the very positive vibe which was felt on every day of AOG this year,” Mr Hare said.
“We are particularly pleased with the success of our industry forums, which have been widely applauded as a great initiative. We began the AOG 2017 campaign announcing that year’s show would be an event for the industry that industry helped build and wanted, and that is exactly what we delivered,” he said.
AOG will return for its 37th staging to the PCEC in Perth from March 14-16, 2018.