By Brennan Stark, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The Offshore Technology Conference, one of the world’s leading events for the development of offshore resources in the fields of exploration and drilling, will arrive in Brazil for the first time this October 4th-6th. The “OTC Brasil 2011 Conference and Exhibition” is OTC’s first exhibition outside of its native Houston, Texas, and premiered this week in Rio de Janeiro at the Riocentro convention center, with plans to expand to other Brazilian cities in 2013.
The new exhibition will present numerous top professionals’ technical presentations addressing deepwater offshore resources, and will include a young professional event for those ages 35 and under seeking advice on beginning a career in the oil and petroleum industry.
Chief engineer of BP David Brookes states that, in the same vein as its predecessor in Houston, “OTC Brasil will cover a wide range of technical and operating challenges,” and “Topics [will] include offshore drilling and wells systems, floating structures, and advanced subsea production.”
The event does, however, promise to offer its own “unique Brazilian flair, providing networking opportunities as well as offering Brazilian cultural events and contributions to social programs in Brazil.”
The conference was developed by the same twelve societies that have traditionally worked with OTC Houston, including the Marine Technology Society and the Society of Petroleum Engineers, yet will exclusively include four Brazilian supporting organizations.
Ricardo Juiniti, wells operation executive manager of OGX, the largest privately owned Brazilian oil company, believes that OTC’s decision to expand to Brazil was based on the country’s “significant technological contributions to the E&P [Exploration & Production] industry in deep and ultra-deepwater [waters]” in recent decades.
The Offshore Technology Conference in Houston has historically been one of the world’s most highly attended trade shows, and OTC Brasil is predicted to have similar success. In February it reported plans to expand its exhibition space because of strong company interest, with well over 200 companies from seventeen countries including China, the U.S., Korea, Norway, Denmark, and Finland making reservations.
Susan Cunningham, 2011 Chairman of the OTC Board of Directors, states that “The large number of Brazilian companies that are exhibiting at OTC Brasil, combined with high interest from around the world, have led to this expansion of space. Many exhibitors have said that they feel OTC Brasil will be a truly global show that offers unique opportunities.”
CEO of Quest Offshore John Chadderdon, who has helped organize the event in partnership with OTC, states that the response to OTC’s expansion “is remarkable for a ‘first ever’ event.”
Jim Kappeler, longtime resident of Rio and professional working in the oil and petroleum industry, believes this exhibition will be similar to Rio and Macaé’s Brasil Offshore oil shows, held on alternating years. Speaking from past OTC experiences, he explains that the technical presentations that make up so much of the conference are vital because “in the offshore industry there is always a need to keep up with the innovations.”
Kappeler’s own reason for attending, like so many others, is to “make contact with potential partners [and] suppliers for future business endeavors and also to renew old contacts, sometimes just friendships, but also potential future business.”
Cunningham believes the event will also provide information invaluable to those looking to become successful in the offshore oil business: “This conference will offer a tremendous opportunity for global companies to learn about Brazilian technology and operations, and for professionals in Brazil to get the latest information about approaches being used in projects around the world.”
Registration for the event varies in price, from a US$50 “Expo Only Guest Pass” to an all-inclusive three-day “Delegate” pass for US$795. Full registration descriptions can be found at OTC’s website, which also offers the option of registering online.