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    OE 2003 was "best ever" show

    News // September 29, 2003
    A total of 26,337 visitors came to Aberdeen over four exciting days to attend the oil and gas show Offshore Europe 2003.

    With confirmed contract deals totaling more than US $325 million announced or signed at the show earlier this month, and visitors from 104 countries (30 more than the previous show), the latest event has been acclaimed as the "best ever" by the industry,especially for its clear international relevance to the global E&P sector.

    The event at the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre featured more than 1,400 exhibitors from 34 countries. There were also high-powered delegations attending, with nine having a ministerial presence. These included delegations from Azerbaijan, Canada, Egypt, Australia, Morocco, Venezuela and Mauritania. Trade Partners UK - the government's international trade support service - says it brought more than 160 visitors from 20 countries.

    The general consensus is that the show brings in at least an estimated UK 13 million in revenue to the Grampian region alone.

    According to Lesley-Ann Sandbach, Project Director for organisers The Offshore Europe Partnership - a joint venture between the Society of Petroleum Engineers and Spearhead Exhibitions Ltd, "Offshore Europe has again confirmed Aberdeen's importance as aglobal hub of the international E&P industry. Although it is a mature area, the North Sea continues to attract new players, particularly the independent operating companies, and to export both technology and expertise worldwide. Exhibitors have told me how many more overseas visitors have attended than in previous years, and that is vitally important. The high quality of these visitors is also apparent, with a significant number of chief executives of oil companies and prime contractors here."There has also been a very high level of rebooking for our 2005 show, so we have a firm platform already for the next event."

    Industry players backed Offshore Europe's 'feel good' factor. Tom Botts, managing director of Shell Expro, said: "There has been a real buzz about Offshore Europe this year, which says to me that there is a heightened sense of realism about how we tacklethe challenges of a maturing basin."There is no doubt Offshore Europe provides an ideal platform for the industry to work together in dealing with these challenges - including safety, maximising recovery and sustainable development. As far as Shell is concerned, it has been a great opportunity for us to share our move to the European EP organisation and underline our continued commitment to the North Sea."

    Sir Ian Wood, chairman and chief executive of the Wood Group, commented: "Offshore Europe is now very much an international exhibition. Wood Group formally met six overseas delegations and representatives from 70 other countries, some of which are existing clients and others certainly potential new clients round the world."

    Steve Harris, acting director general of the UK Offshore Operators Association, added: "The impression I have is that this may well have been the most successful Offshore Europe yet. One of the most exciting features has been the way in which the city and the industry have worked so closely together to ensure the week ran smoothly."

    Murray Strachan, managing director of RGIT Montrose, said: "The calibre of visitors has been top-notch - representing operators, new entrants and major contractors. Attendance and interest from international visitors was very high and we made valuable contacts which may well lead to future business from organisations in West Africa, the Caspian and South America. The international element is crucial to local companies and the increase in serious inquiries is a result of overseas organisations looking atthe North Sea as a model for their own provinces and even as an investment opportunity."

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