From Adewale Sanyaolu, Houston, Texas

The organisers of the global energy show-Oil Technology Conference (OTC), which ended in Houston, Texas at the weekend, announced that the four-day programme contributed an estimated $4 billion to the local economy, attracting global visitors, and significantly benefiting local businesses.

Alex Martinez, chair of the OTC Board, who reflected on OTC 2024 success, stated, “It was inspiring to see the global energy community come together to discuss and partner in solutions that will shape a sustainable future.

“As the world’s population continues to grow and require more energy, there is no other event that provides attendees with more diverse conversations focused on the latest developments needed to accelerate the global energy mix,” Martinez concluded.

OTC is an annual event that brings together professionals from the offshore energy industry to discuss and showcase the latest advancements in technology, equipment, and services.

The programme provides a platform for networking, knowledge sharing, and collaboration among industry stakeholders, including engineers, scientists, executives, and government officials. The conference features technical sessions, keynote presentations, exhibitions, and special events focused on various aspects of offshore exploration, drilling, production, and environmental protection.

In separate interviews with Daily Sun at the end of the conference, some participants urged Nigeria to draw lessons from the conference in terms of the quality of organization, participation, logistics and the promotion of the country’s tourism potential.

An engineer and Executive Director, Speedco Nigeria Limited, Mr. Obafemi, said the National Bureau of Statistics(NBS) has a lot of role to play in generating accurate statistics for the country.

He explained that the OTC  ended last Thursday and within 24 hours, the organizers in conjunction with relevant government agencies released statistics on how much was injected into the local economy. What does that tell you? That means the US Department of Transportation, the Houston Tourism Board which oversees business SMEs, hospitality industry among others all worked together to develop these numbers.

Also speaking, a tourism expert, Mr. Jude Ogori, said from the point of registration for the conference, there are links to sites for the various hotels at discounted rates which enabled participants book for hotels way ahead of time. He added that the organizers working closely with the bureau of tourism have negotiated rates with selected hotels, thereby guaranteeing them bulk guests at reduced rates.

However, he said the same cannot be said of most Nigeria conferences as participants are left to source for hotels on their own. This, he said, makes planning and logistics very difficult.

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‘‘You know our global perception about security is a major issue for us as a country. So leaving foreigners, some whom have never visited the country to source for their hotels outside the conference website is a major setback.

“Do you know some conferences in Nigeria don’t even have a functional website and for those that have, you cannot find relevant information on the site, he lamented.

Another participant at the conference, Mr. Emeka Okoro, said Nigeria still has a long way to go in terms of organizing conferences.

Okoro said oragnistion of conferences in Nigeria is still way below standard as support industries that ought to tap into opportunities end up making nothing.

He said Nigerian Airlines are not efficient enough to offer world class service compared to what obtains in other climes.

He said flight cancellation; delays among other operational constraints have compounded their woes and have made them less confident to go into discussions with conference organizers.

The 2024 OTC ended in uniting the world’s elite energy experts and professionals, to discuss the future of offshore energy.

The conference showcased breakthrough innovations in the industry, and a multi-disciplinary technical program exploring the technologies needed to address the world’s increasing energy demands as populations and economies continue to modernize and advance.

This year’s agenda included a diverse lineup of 51 sessions—featuring 30 executive dialogues and keynote presentations, 13 panels, 7 networking events and 9 countries highlighted in the Around the World Series.

More than 30,000 participants from 107 countries attended, reinforcing OTC’s status as the premiere global energy and innovation conference amid rising energy demand.

On the exhibition floor, 14 international pavilions and almost 1,300 companies showcased innovative technologies across 257,350 square feet of space and virtual reality and interactive setups. This growing international presence highlights OTC’s expanding influence and importance within the offshore energy sector, highlighted further by the presence of 205 media and press.