CALGARY???The 51st installment of the Global Petroleum Show (GPS), North America???s largest onshore-oriented oil-and-gas event, kicks off today in Calgary, amid a Canadian activity trough from which industry leaders hope to recover soon. Last year and most of 2019 have been a difficult period for Canadian operators, as they have witnessed diminished demand for their crude output, while their American neighbors to the south dominate the market with a flood of shale oil production.
Nevertheless, Canadian executives are optimistic that better days lie ahead for their industry. Part of that optimism stems from the recent Alberta provincial election, which in April saw the United Conservative Party and its leader, Jason Kenney, sweep to victory over the previous regime of former provincial Premier Rachel Notley and her New Democratic Party. Notley had been unable to solve a number of issues critical to the industry, particularly construction of new pipelines to expedite exports. Kenney???s win was due, in part, to his emphatic proclamations that he could succeed where Notley failed. Whether the new premier can make significant progress remains to be seen.
GPS attendees may get a further clue as to Premier Kenney???s strategy, when he kicks off the conference portion of the event at 10:00 am, MDT, today. GPS officials have said that Kenney will deliver a ???leadership address,??? which will outline the provincial government???s industry outlook and efforts to further infrastructure projects. The conference, over three days, will bring together industry professionals, government officials, policymakers, energy companies and so-called thought leaders to address critical issues and ???collaborate on solutions for the future.???
New features. Meanwhile, GPS officials decided to shake up the show this year and change some existing features while also implementing new sessions/programs. Those actions, along with optimism that the market will get better, may be responsible for the 10% increase in registrations that GPS is seeing versus last year???s figures. If this pace is maintained, then officials believe that attendance could hit 55,000 people from 115 countries this year, versus 50,000 during June 2018.
???We are thrilled and grateful for the unprecedented response from the market around the many changes and new programs that will be introduced at this year???s Global Petroleum Show,??? said Nick Samain, vice president at dmg events. He noted that the three main themes of this year???s conference portion include 1) Global Outlook: Transitioning Toward the Future; 2) Oil & Gas 4.0: Disruptive Innovation and Futureproofing the Business Model; and 3) Focus on Canada: The World???s Most Responsible Producer.
Something particularly new for 2019 is the staging of the ???Largest Oil & Gas Rally in Canadian History,??? in partnership with Canada Action. The rally will take place today, at 12:00 noon, MDT, in the outdoor exhibit area of Stampede Park, near the Big Four building. The rally will feature appearances from top industry leaders, politicians and advocates from across the country. Organizers expect 5,000+ people will attend.
Other new programming, conents and features this year include:
In addition, GPS will once again host more than 460,000 square feet of exhibition space, featuring more than 1,000 companies with displays and equipment on-site. The U.S. Pavilion will again be staged by the U.S. Commerce Department, housing a number of small-to-medium-sized companies, along with booths from the states of Louisiana and New Mexico, geared to attracting additional upstream investment in those states.