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Exhibitions: Offshore Europe Breaks All Attendance Records

Posted on 11.09.2005 - 02:24 EDT in EXHIBITION NEWS by ginamc

Offshore Europe 2005The attendance at this year's highly-successful Offshore Europe oil and gas show in Aberdeen has broken all records.

Organisers revealed yesterday that more than 30,000 people from all corners of the world flooded through the doors of Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre during the four days of the OE05 event.

This smashed the OE record set two years ago of 26,337.

The 16th biennial show has given a £15million-plus boost to the north-east economy, for everyone from taxi drivers to hotels, but there will also be benefits in the years ahead for local oil and gas firms which took part in the event.

Total contract values following on from OE03 had been put at £180million and organisers are confident this will be exceeded.

Nik Rudge, project director for the Offshore Europe Partnership, said highlights for him this year had included the quality and seniority of visitors from the energy business.

He added: "Getting record-breaking numbers in itself is fabulous, but attracting the right sort of people is the important thing."

Mr Rudge said it had been a "fantastic" show and planning had already begun for OE07.

"We are already getting reservations from people who want to return with even bigger and better stands in two years," he added.

The North East of Scotland Economic Forum (NESEF) - a partnership of private and public-sector players which seeks to drive economic development in the north-east - believes that OE05 has not just had a significant and immediate impact on the economy but a longer- term knock-on effect which will help the region maintain its strong position both nationally and internationally.

Chairwoman Kate Dean said: "After this week's successful show, there should be no doubt in anyone's mind that the UK oil and gas industry has an exciting future.

"The continued renewed international interest in the North Sea, highlighted by the biggest number of applications for the 23rd oil and gas licensing round, demonstrates that the sector is alive and well.

"This message needs to be shouted from the rooftops so that we can continue to secure the investment and skills required to meet both immediate and future challenges for the good of the north-east and UK plc."

Mrs Dean, who is also Aberdeen City Council leader, added: "Of equal importance at OE05 was the number of UK, and particularly north-east, firms operating in the international arena, many of whom are truly at the forefront of the development of new technology.

"The partners of NESEF want to work with these companies to enable them to exploit their expertise at home and abroad. If our companies prosper, our region prospers.

"Working together, the partners of NESEF and many local businesses ensured that visitors to the exhibition had a varied programme of events outwith the show. This extra-curricular programme added a new dimension to the week not only for visitors but also for the local community.

"Hoteliers, restaurateurs, shops, taxis, as well as other local businesses from printers and designers to professional-services firms have all enjoyed the immediate economic impact of this event.

"However, the long-term benefits, not so easy to quantify but of equal importance, will last much longer."

Malcolm Webb, chief executive of the UK Offshore Operators' Association, said: "I am delighted at how OE05 has gone, and was particularly pleased to see the energy minister here for two whole days.

"His announcement of the 23rd licensing round awards on the first day was perfectly timed and focused attention on the fact that the North Sea is far from over.

" It allowed us to challenge that popular misconception head on and generally boosted the conference's already-vibrant atmosphere."

However, the possibility that Chancellor Gordon Brown could yet target cash-rich North Sea oil and gas producers for more taxation was on many people's minds at the show.

Tom Botts, Shell's executive vice-president for Europe, said at OE05 that confidence would be shattered if there was not a stable fiscal environment.

Source: The Press & Journal
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