Business

Why OTC’s Impact Can Be Felt Around The World

Annual Offshore Technology Conference kicks off at Reliant Park.

IMG_1851.JPGExhibitors and participants come together at the Offshore Technology Conference at Reliant Center.

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IMG_1853.JPGScenes from the Offshore Technology Conference at Reliant Center.

Lots of big events take place in Houston every year. The NBA played its all-star game here last year. Next year the NCAA Final Four will be in Houston and in 2017, of course, the Super Bowl will take place here.

But in terms of consistently boosting Houston’s economy and visibility worldwide, there can only be one: The OTC – the Offshore Technology Conference.

“OTC is annual and annually they are giving more, they are producing more than $100 million in direct expenditures back into the economy,” said Greg Ortale, president of the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau. “So if you add them all up, you know, OTC has provided the greater Houston area with billions of dollars in the 45 years that they have been in business.”

As big an impact the OTC has on Houston, it’s just as important for the companies that are part of it.

Philip Feron, an offshore engineer with Dutch Airborne Oil & Gas, said of the offshore conferences his company attends every year, OTC is the one they get the most out of.

“Very significant,” he said, “because from all the conferences, we know this is actually one of the few where actually every major company is present and we get the most variety of people they can speak to.”

Femco Industries is a manufacturing company based in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. Its vice president of sales and marketing, Scott Walker, said the OTC is a great way to connect with potential oil and gas customers.

“We’re always looking to grow our capabilities. We’ve got a lot of work with big customers as it is,” he said. “But there’s a lot of drillers out there that still may not know who we are and how we can help them in the field.”

Joe Fowler, vice chair of the OTC board, said besides the significant economic impact the conference has on Houston, it has an impact on the industry worldwide.

“The international oil business is a huge industry,” he said. “Worldwide, Houston is the international hub of it, so there’s a lot of deals and contacts and projects that are started and sold here that are many, many billions of dollars economic impact to not only Houston but the whole world.”

The more than 2,700 exhibitors come from 40 different countries, with the highest number of foreign companies coming from Nigeria, China and the UK. Altogether, more than 100,000 people are attending the conference this year.

The OTC runs till Thursday, May 8.

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Florian Martin

Business Reporter

Florian Martin is currently the News 88.7 business reporter. Florian’s stories can frequently be heard on other public radio stations throughout Texas and on NPR nationwide. Some of them have earned him awards from Texas AP Broadcasters, the Houston Press Club, National Association of Real Estate Editors, and Public Radio...

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