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What We Saw at PETEX 2012 in London, England


PETEX is an international conference held in Earls Court, London, every other year. This year saw Drillinginfo exhibit for the first time. The theme was “From Volatility to Value,” reflecting the tumultuous events of the prior two in which oil prices rose close to $150 per barrel before rapidly falling back to under $40. Since the last PETEX, oil prices have fluctuated, but have stayed above $80, bringing relative stability back to the industry. This has helped drive expansion of unconventional plays, renewed deepwater exploration and brought significant technological advances.

The extended technical programme offered fifty-nine talks covering global activity in exploration & production, unconventionals and technology running concurrently in themed sessions across three halls. The opening keynote addresses included insights into the future for Oil & Gas from Genel Energy CEO Tony Hayward. There was, however, early disappointment for many, as late comers were barred entry to the packed auditorium.

Inset from Drillinginfo International East Africa Exploration map showing offshore Tanzania

The diversity of content was well illustrated during the first day session on Emerging Exploration Provinces. Technological advances in drilling and seismic acquisition are proving to be the drivers for new discoveries in challenging deepwater and Arctic environments. In contrast, it is the political transformation of the “Arab Spring” that has provided the potential catalyst for new discoveries in the proven plays of Libya. Insights into the Chewa 1 deepwater discovery offshore Tanzania demonstrated one of the world’s current hotspots.

The final attendance tally was 3,469, which is up over 10% on PETEX 2010. In total, including the International Pavilion and University delegates, there were 145 exhibitors.

There was plenty of opportunity to network during the day time and during the social functions in the evening. The second evening is the now-famous “pub crawl”. This event is sponsored by the seismic companies, this time by PGS, TGS, Polarcus, Fugro and Lynx. Each attendee is given a book of tickets, to obtain your free drink attendees visit each of the booths and get a stamp. Everyone heads to the first pub around 6 p.m. when the exhibition closes. Throughout the evening, delegates transfer from one pub to the next. In theory, by the end of the evening you will have visited all five pubs sponsored by each of the companies. In reality, the majority of delegates didn’t manage to hit all five, which was probably as well, since there is still one more day of the conference after the pub crawl!

The third day ended with a “Sundowner” on the exhibition floor during which delegates reflected upon the events of the past three days.

The next PETEX is November 2014. It will be moving locations to the ExCel Centre, which will provide a different environment and a refreshing change of venue. Drillinginfo will be there, will you?

Now it’s your turn. What were your key takeaways from PETEX 2012? Leave a comment below.

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