Every year, hundreds of oil and gas business leaders and service and supply providers gather to network and share industry news during Noia’s (Newfoundland and Labrador’s Oil and Gas Industry Association’s) Annual Conference—Canada’s largest offshore oil and gas conference.
This year NLOWE led a delegation of member companies attending this major industry event. The objective was to strengthen industry relationships, network with business leaders, and hear the latest news about future industry activities, which will hopefully lead to future business opportunities.
To prepare for the conference, NLOWE hosted an information workshop so participants could prioritize conference events, define their business goals, and develop a strategy to make the most of the event.
NLOWE also received news coverage when media noticed the low numbers of women attending the conference. NLOWE’s CEO, Paula Sheppard, responded that “although the oil and gas industry is the province’s largest industry, less than 1 percent of the province’s oil and gas supply chain is composed of women-owned businesses. Globally, these companies capture only 5 percent of corporate and industrial supply chains. It’s a very serious issue that is, unfortunately, worse in Newfoundland and Labrador.”
She explained that women-owned businesses often do not have the contacts or networks that typically lead to business development in the oil and gas industry. They also tend to have limited industry exposure and knowledge.
According to conference participant Jacqui Winter, owner of HR Project Partners, it was worthwhile to attend the conference, particularly through NLOWE. “I was introduced to petroleum industry leaders and now have a better understanding of the industry. We were able to highlight the importance of supplier diversity. I also have a stronger network, both within Noia and also with this great group of female entrepreneurs who also attended.”
News from the Noia conference floor
Here are some highlights from the conference:
- Statoil provided an update on their recent drilling program and two new discoveries.
- Nexen Energy, a new operator in this region, provided a positive assessment of the province’s potential and indicated a long-term commitment to the area.
- Minister Coady, who recognized the NLOWE delegation in her keynote address, outlined the government’s plan to establish an oil and gas industry council, with details to be announced this summer.
- Nalcor Energy focused on exciting seismic work in the West Orphan Basin, which will be included in a land sale later this year.
Despite the current conditions in the oil and gas industry, there was a sense of optimism at this year’s conference. There seemed to be a shared awareness that the price of oil would soon recover and the future looks promising.