Gastech, the conference for the oil and gas industry has been labelled a triumph by delegates, exhibitors and organisers who travelled from across the globe to discuss the major industry talking points.

It was especially productive for those who used the conference and exhibition at ExCeL London as an opportunity to sign lucrative contracts and seek new business partners.

Gavin Sutcliffe, head of content for Gastech, said, “One particularly important measure of the success of Gastech is the amount of business that took place over the four days. It was a real delight to see people doing major business there. Quite often at exhibitions, people talk about doing business and they shake hands but nothing materialises until further down the line. Already I have heard from so many people that have commented on the agreements they have made and contracts they signed at Gastech.

“It was great to see the engineering contractors having serious conversations with the major operators and also the national oil companies. When you get those three groups of people together, you get a lot done. That was really impressive and was really important for us.”

Gastech, which took place on 8th-11th October, opened with the UK energy minister setting the scene for the conference and explaining the dependence of the UK on gas. The minister told the conference delegates that gas will continue to be the lead power source for the UK and it will play a key role in efforts to reduce carbon emission and meet the requirements of the Copenhagen and Kyoto Treaties.

In his speech Ed Davey said, “Despite the good shape of Britain’s gas market we cannot afford to be complacent now or in the future when it comes to energy security. We are working internationally to encourage investment in new gas production, supporting UK companies overseas.”

Also looking at international investment was the Russian Energy Ministry, who took part in the Day of Russia at Gastech. The Russian Energy Minister, Alexander Novak, spoke to conference about his focus on attracting investment, development of infrastructure and increased exports of both gas and oil. In a session entitled The Role of Russia in Ensuring the Energy Security of the World Economy, and in a subsequent press conference, Alexander Novak spoke about the importance of sourcing oil from new fields and spoke about the government’s incentive package, which includes tax incentives for new fields in Eastern Siberia.

As various sections of the industry look to fund key projects globally, the financing day was of particular importance at Gastech 2012. The conference sessions on the topic of finance was well received, with a rare collection of prominent industry speakers including Duncan Kerr from Euromoney, Moriyuki Aida from Japan Bank for International Cooperation and Robin Burnett from Standard & Poor’s ratings services. Among the many things discussed were the role of different sources of finance and how they will be harmonised.

Meanwhile, a leadership panel on the opening day featured industry heavyweights such as Stefan Judisch, CEO of RWE Supply & Trading, Chris Finlayson, executive director and managing director of BG Advance at BG Group and Jean-Claude Depail, the president of Gas International Europe. Up for discussion were the dynamics affecting the key regions – the Americas, Europe and Asia Pacific. There are plans to expand this section of the conference when Gastech reconvenes in Korea in 2014.

Making its debut at this year’s Gastech was ignite! The Energy Recruitment Show. The focus was on the huge demand for skilled engineers in the UK as well as the number of opportunities available overseas for industry professionals to begin or develop their careers with some of the leading firms in the energy sector. Recruitment, HR and training experts also voiced their need for a greater number of creative and enlightened workers within the oil and gas industry, as opposed to solely looking to fill vacancies.

Sutcliffe said, “ignite! demonstrated that there’s a real appetite for engineers in the sector. We wanted it to be part of the process of attracting young people into the sector. For many youngsters doing their A Levels or at university, the temptation is to go into banking or accounting if they want a well paid job. If you want to get paid fantastic amounts of money at a young age, engineering is a great career to get into. There’s a huge shortage of engineers and a big desire for them, particularly in energy engineering. If you train in the industry, you’ll almost be guaranteed a good job.”

Sutcliffe concluded, “Hosting Gastech in London proved to be a huge success. It proved to be a convenient hub for international delegates to fly to, but more importantly, it proved that London is still the financial epicentre where people will hold productive talks about raising finance. We have been really pleased with the positive feedback we have had about the conference. There was a really high calibre of speakers this year and the VIPs who opened the exhibition really generated a lot of interest. We’re looking forward to an even bigger Gastech in 2014 in Korea.”