26 April 2006

Will Danny be there this year?

Early next week, the North American oil and gas industry will be in Houston for the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) .

It's always been a big deal for the local oil industry and this year is no exception. The provincial government-sponsored exhibit space is crammed with displays by the local oil and gas sector.

Technical panelists for some of the discussions include Steve Campbell of Trans Ocean Gas talking about ways of developing so-called stranded gas. Campbell's company has developed a new way of transporting gas at high pressure and low temperature inside containers made from composite materials.

Beyond that there are three sessions that will focus respectively on opportunities for development offshore India, Russia and Australia. There's plenty of discussion of the issues involved in drilling deep water.

Even Venezuelan energy minister Raphael Ramiriz Carreno is a luncheon speaker covering Venezuela's "strategy for the worldwide energy balance."

Last year, Premier Danny Williams issued a news release proclaiming that he was heading a delegation representing 47 local companies and organizations to OTC. He delivered a breakfast speech and did the rounds promoting the Newfoundland and Labrador offshore.
"I was pleased to have the opportunity to meet with top executives of Chevron to discuss how we can collectively move the Hebron project forward," said Premier Williams. "We had a very productive discussion about the challenges and opportunities of the Hebron project, and I was encouraged by what I heard. I also laid out very clearly the province's expectations in terms of the benefits we will expect for the people of Newfoundland and Labrador. We must work with industry to see this project progress; however, government will also be vigilant in ensuring proper and fair benefits for the people of the province."
The year before natural resources minister Ed Byrne led the local crowd to OTC.
"The further development of our oil and gas industry plays a very important part in government'’s agenda for success to generate new revenues and new jobs," said Minister Byrne. "We will aggressively pursue investors, encouraging them to establish and invest in Newfoundland and Labrador. Based on what we know about the discovered resources offshore, the oil and gas industry presents solid investment opportunities now and into the future. Events such as OTC provide us with the venue to reiterate that message."
Pretty well every year for the last decade or more the provincial delegation has been boosted by the support and presence of the Premier, the energy minister or both.

But here's the question:

Will either Danny Williams or Ed Byrne be in Houston for the 2006 offshore technology conference?