Oct. 14–The Permian Basin International Oil Show returns on Tuesday and one message ringing loud and clear is that the Permian Basin is back in business.
The biennial trade show has been sold out since April as exhibitors from around the world rushed to claim a space at the Ector County Coliseum. Nearly 250 exhibitors were placed on a waitlist this year.
PBIOS Executive Director Tony Fry said that he expects attendance numbers to reach close to 40,000 people. Although the show was also sold out in 2016, Fry said the downturn in the industry at that time led to an overall attendance drop of about 25 percent.
“Everybody that has been in this business for so long, we’ve all been through many cycles — that’s what we call it — and this is just another one,” Kirk Edwards, CEO of Latigo Petroleum, said.
Edwards said 2016 was a long down cycle where oil prices and activity fell, but outlooks have become more positive since 2017 when oil prices picked back up. That shift has also influenced industry members’ mindsets, in addition to the upcoming oil show. This year’s theme: We’re Back.
“I think the Permian Basin currently is in the midst of a very nice, steady growth period, and that can be seen by half of the drilling rigs in the country running here in West Texas and Southeastern New Mexico,” Edwards said. “The amount of people and equipment and investment getting made in this area has just been phenomenal over the past years.”
The oil show will span three days and provide industry professionals the opportunity to network and explore what exhibitors have to offer. Fry said PBIOS has something for everyone.
“There are 739 exhibiting companies, so there is something out here regardless of which base of the industry you’re involved with,” Fry said. “You’re going to find exhibitors that have products and services that you’re going to be interested in.”
Edwards said the Permian Basin has always been a driver of innovation due to the quality of engineers and those willing to take the risks necessary to propel the industry forward.
“Horizontal drilling and fracking are the big, big drivers today and so that’s what people are going to come see, the different technologies that exist and that are getting modified that are making it easier, faster and cheaper for us to drill,” Edwards said.
He said the oil show allows people access to numerous vendors that have perfected techniques and the chance to speak directly with as many as one can fit into their schedule.
“They know you’re coming to learn, and they’re coming to teach and educate,” Edwards said. “It’s just a win-win for the people that exhibit and it’s a win-win for the people that come to learn about the new technologies.”
PBIOS exhibitors also contribute to the community in a way that ripples out to the upcoming generation of industry leaders and innovators.
Fry said a part of the fee that exhibitors pay to rent their spaces is used to provide financial assistance to college students that have an interest in the petroleum industry and related fields of study.
“We’re very oil and gas oriented and our goal is education in the oil and gas industry,” Fry said, “over the last 12 years we’ve given over $1.2 million in scholarships.”
Fry said PBIOS is addressing the shortage of skilled workers while investing in the future of the industry.
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