PESGB held it 14th annual PROSPEX2016 in London Islington Business Design Centre this week. The 1862 Royal Agricultural Hall was buzzing with an attendance only 20% off PESGB’s pace – same went for PETEX last month – which is excellent considering the climate! The show is what is called ‘prospectors and developers’ in the mining industry, whose cycles make ours look pretty benign… But therein lies its success: assembling those who offer oil&gas ventures and those who look to invest in them, as well as those who can assist via technology and legislation or regulation – Oil and Gas Authority had a significant presence reflecting its effort to promote oil&gas onshore and offshore – that foursome is the Three Musketeers of the “oil bidness”.

Two days of sessions with ample coffee breaks for meeting&greeting in the exhibition foyer covered “everything you wanted to know but were afraid to ask”. The Wednesday morning kickoff set the stage with OGA’s Director of Operations, Hurricane’s Chief Finacial Officer and Hannon Westwood’s Head of E&P Research – regulator, operator and analyst the keystone of our industry. That afternoon were Central North Sea, Onshore and Western Offshore presentations. Thursday followed with governemnt surveys’ regional overviews, a technology roundup and finished with Irish and further European prospects. And lest we forget, Wednesday evening social and Thursday after-show pub event rounded off, what catching up couldn’t fit in the daytime.

My fourth year in the last six as an SME was a fantastic way to meet a focussed and intent group with a clear purpose in difficult days, not only of economics but also public perception: letting it wash like water off a duck’s back does not improve the underlying economics directly, but it does help us see more clearly through the FUD (fear, uncertainty qand doubt). We must keep going through the orderly maturation rather than ending of a key local industry. BP and Engie’s recent discoveries certainly show that, apologies to Mark Twain, “the report of [our] death was an exaggeration”.

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