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All set for 2019 OTC in Houston, delegates asked to fully leverage opportunities

BY: Charles Benoni Okine
Madam Assam (standing) addressing delegates at the meeting
Madam Assam (standing) addressing delegates at the meeting

All is set for Ghanaian companies in the oil and gas sectors of the economy to participate in the 50th Offshore Technology Conference (OTC 2019) in Houston, Texas from May 6 to May 9 this year.

Throughout the entire period of the conference, the OTC will feature a new programme christened “Around the World Series” where global industry leaders will discuss new licensing and business opportunities, as well as recently introduced technologies.

The latest information from principals representing Australia, Norway, Mexico, France, United Kingdom, Israel, Canada, Ghana, and Guyana will be featured.

More than 60,000 participants are expected to attend the biggest oil and gas event which has been acclaimed universally as the most appropriate place to meet the movers and shakers in the multibillion-dollar industry.

In view of the importance of the conference, delegates from Ghana have been asked to position themselves in readiness for joint ventures when they participate in the conference which will also feature a major exhibition.

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The Chairman of the Planning Committee of the Ghana Delegation to the conference, Madam Patricia Assam, gave the advice at the last meeting of delegates at a pre-departure meeting in Accra on April 16.

The Ghana delegation to the OTC will be led by the Minister of Energy and other top government officials with expertise in the oil and gas industry.

According to her, the platform was huge and would only require the participating companies to package themselves well in order to leverage the various opportunities at the conference.

“Last year was good and this year is even going to be better.

All you have to do is to position yourselves in a positive way to attract some of the big players to partner you in your business in Ghana,” she said.

Madam Assam, who is also the Head of Government Relations at the Ministry of Energy, asked the delegates to play by the rules to avoid falling foul of the rules and regulations governing the conference.

Ghana Day

The Chief Executive Officer of Consolidated Shipping (Conship), Dr M.C. Vasnani, said one unique feature of this year’s event would be a special three-hour session at the event focused on Ghana.

On the theme: “Building local capability in Ghana’s oil and gas sector”, he said the Minister of Energy and several other dignitaries (CEOs of government agencies and oil companies) would make presentations to international oil companies and the world on opportunities and partnerships in the country’s petroleum sector.

He also announced that another special feature with this year’s participation was the push to educate the Ghanaian Diaspora about opportunities in the petroleum sector with business-2-business meetings with established Ghanaian SMEs in the sector. This is being organised by the Ghana-Houston Chamber of Commerce.

Pavilion for Ghanaian exhibitors

Ghana, for the first time in the history of the OTC, opened its own pavilion last year, which offered Ghanaian companies in the oil & gas and allied industries the opportunity to exhibit their services and seek partnership with local businesses in the sector.

Dr Vasnani said Conship, is the Ghanaian company promoting the Ghana Pavilion at OTC adding that there will be a “large international participation and gathering at OTC to provide excellent opportunities for global sharing of technology, expertise, products and best practices. The OTC platform will also bring together industry leaders, investors, buyers and entrepreneurs to develop markets and business partnerships ultimately to promote and develop local capability in the oil and gas sector”.

He described the feedback for last year’s event as positive and said the company was well positioned to replicate same with improved environment this year to enable Ghanaian companies to attract more visitors and potential partners.

“The position of the Ghana pavilion this year will be in the centre of the exhibition hall and that will make the exhibitors more visible to the patrons,” he said, adding that: “The Minister of Energy will perform the official ribbon-cutting ceremony to open the pavilion.”