The West African International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference (Waipec) will be renewed for a third consecutive year, following an overwhelmingly successful reception from regional and international participants at this year’s second annual conference in Lagos, Nigeria.
Petroleum Technology Association of Nigeria (Petan) announced last month that it will host next year’s Waipec. The decision to renew the conference was made after this year’s conference drew delegates from more than 30 countries, with more than 6 000 individual exhibition visitors in attendance. Next year’s edition will be held in January at the Eko Convention Centre in Lagos.
Petan chairperson Bank-Anthony Okoroafor tells Engineering News that the conference is now the largest petroleum event of its kind in West Africa.
“This year’s exhibition sold out and attracted record numbers of visitors, up 52% from 2017. We have had a lot of interest from previous and new exhibitors who are excited and hoping to build on the successes of the recent conference.”
Okoroafor states that the conference was established to promote the West African oil and gas industry, seek best practice, explore new technologies and develop commercial opportunities for business and international investment.
He notes that, given its success over the past two years, Petan is planning to make the conference “the major think-tank, collaboration platform and sprouting base for innovative ideas across the West African energy industry”.
Building on the past two Waipecs, the 2019 conference will host a discussion- and networking-focused conference, as well as an exhibition providing exhibitors with opportunities to showcase their products to potential buyers.
“This year’s conference featured 50 industry leaders and global experts on an insightful programme, which was held alongside the sold-out exhibition, with 83 companies showcasing their products and services and generating meetings with thousands of invested industry professionals.”
Okoroafor explains that Petan expects the third conference to be even more successful. He states that next year’s conference will be driven by a committee of representatives chosen from a cross section of key stakeholders from the Nigerian oil and gas industry and the most senior representatives from the West African oil and gas industry. The selected steering committee will head high-level strategic sessions and discussions on solutions to some of West Africa’s oil industry challenges.
Okoroafor reveals that discussions and exhibitions at the next Waipec conference will address the future of the region as a player in the global oil industry, enhance the value chain of the petrochemicals industry, deepen market opportunities within the sector, as well as promote collaboration to improve efficient use of resources in the region.
Okoroafor adds that, throughout the two-day event, emphasis will be placed on networking and interacting among influential industry leaders. He states that one of the most significant strengths of the conference is its ability to bring global and regional influential petrochemicals industry professionals together. He states that representatives of companies such as deep-water oil and gas producers Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company, US multinational energy corporation Chevron and the Petroleum Commission of Ghana have participated in the past two conferences.
“Throughout the event, an emphasis will be placed on interaction between all participants, with time factored into the programme for networking breaks and a series of social events.”
Moreover, Okoroafor adds that participants can use the Business Matching service that allows participants to prearrange networking opportunities with other attendees ahead of the event through an easy-to-use platform.
Once attendees have shown interest in holding private meetings, a specified time and space will be reserved for them in the business matching lounge. Okoroafor states that the business matching service was introduced in this year’s conference and proved “hugely popular and effective”.
The third Waipec will also host an international exhibition where attendees can expect to be exposed to buyers from across West Africa and potential service companies with which to partner.
Okoroafor emphasises that the exhibition portion of the conference has proven to promote West African hydrocarbon businesses by providing a platform for global oil industry practitioners, regulators, operators, service providers and investors to network and exchange business information.
“The international exhibition is a remarkable platform for the encouragement of joint venture opportunities, the mobility of industry ideas, and collaborations.”
Okoroafor states that next year’s conference will host representatives from the petroleum industries in Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, Uganda, Tanzania, Angola, Scotland, United Arab Emirates, South Africa and Cameroon, besides others.
He concludes by saying that Petan also expects that the conference will start closing the collaboration gaps within the region and enable it to harness its resources.