PETEX 2018 – show review
Not even the increasingly chilly British weather and wavering oil prices could dampen the spirits at PETEX 2018. London Olympia was a hive of activity with a constant hum of hustle and bustle that reflected the enthusiasm of all the participants and exhibitors.
Throughout the event there was an air of optimism that had been sadly lacking from recent conferences marred by the industry’s previous depression of falling prices and unemployment. The attitudes that prevailed throughout the three days upheld a far more hopeful sensibility, perhaps due to the oil price positioning lately, but also a testament of how far the industry has come since the downturn by implementing more efficient strategies and more resourceful ways of working.
Location, location, location
As befitting of the fresh tone of the conference, the Olympia venue, chosen by the new organisation committee, turned out to be a first class decision, offering a vastly improved layout and access that facilitated a much smoother rundown. From the football goal on Getech’s stand to the chip logo and advent calendars being handed around by Cegal, there was so much to see, do and network about. Right from registration, which constantly appeared to be busy, everyone could be spotted exploring and discussing the future with new, and old, connections.
Chat, chat, chat
The enduringly positive outcome of the conference seemed to come from all the conversations that were taking place. All of the big service company names told of excitement they felt at hosting serious customers on their booths, having serious conversations. All of the attendees seem to share a common goal of connecting, communicating and collaborating in order to further the growth of the industry. The International Pavilion hosted an excellent global offering including Cuba, Egypt, Ghana, Lebanon, Morocco, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, Faroe Islands, all of whom had an important voice to add to the debates.
Toys, toys, toys
This year saw some of the most fantastical stands from the 116 exhibitors, all of whom seemed to have pushed the boat ‘rig’ out! There were so many interactive technologies to try, from AI to VR masks and ‘Georeality Man’, as well as state of the art seismic interpretation tools to try. The digitisation of the elements on display was another reminder of how far the industry has embraced the role efficiency has in its continued evolution. There was also a fantastic mix of old with the new, as the experts evaluated the geophysical history and discussed how the past lessons can infuse our improvements moving forward. We also couldn’t move for some superb prizes and giveaways, I personally witnessed a lot of early Christmas shopping and self-gifting going on at the Fossils Shop! Also the vote came down that the best beers were to be found on Ikon Science in the Spectrums Gin & Tonic Bar – go figure!
Tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow
Everyone at PETEX 2018 was clearly focused on the future of the industry and what role they could play in its prosperity. Key players made sure to available and visible, including the Oil and Gas Authority whose huge stand was well staffed by their informed team. The Geological Society and Etches collection both took prominently placed positions at the entrance, flanked by the PESGB whose smiling team seemed to be right at the front to welcome all the guests and help them find their way. The conference’s future endeavours focus was an excellent build on the future working zone started in 2016. More speakers and sessions delved into a wide range of business and technical skills within geoscience and preparing for the future innovations of the industry in terms of both technologies; use of AI, cloud computing, and ways of working; digitalisation and the movement towards more collaborative and remote working styles. With all this and the abundance of abstract submissions, all together it was an extremely thought-providing and excellent programme that showed the technical committee must have been spoilt for choice. All talks and poster presentations across the various halls, showcase stages and company booths were well attended, and that was even before the drinks started to be served! We can’t wait for the next one!