The big players in the world energy industry have jetted into the US city of Houston for the planet’s largest oil and gas show.
This week’s event marks the 40th year that Aberdeen-based Munro’s Travel Group and the Press and Journal have organised a visit to the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC).
Around 300 delegates from Aberdeen are on this year’s trip.
The headquarters hotel for the party is the Hilton Houston Post Oak.
The Scottish delegates may be more than 4,000 miles from home, but they are still able to get their daily Press and Journal.
An annual link-up with British Airways means that the P&Js are flown every morning from Aberdeen to London Heathrow and then on to Houston.
Nearly 90,000 people from all corners of the planet attended last year’s show – a 30-year high and 14% ahead of the 2011 tally.
Another big turnout is expected for this year’s event, which kicks off this morning Monday and runs through to Thursday.
As well as numerous oil service companies, the Scottish visitors include a variety of support firms, such as banks, solicitors and accountants.
Royal Bank of Scotland is notching up its 15th year in a row at the show.
The bank team includes Derek Busby, regional director for Corporate Banking Aberdeen.
He said: “We will have two representatives from each of our corporate, commercial and structured finance divisions, and one from Lombard Asset Finance, with each area having differing reasons for attending.
“We find it an extremely invaluable trip enabling us to meet with clients on their own patch, catch up with our colleagues in our Houston office who we work closely with, attend the show and of course networking which tends to be a bit more informal than back home and as a result tends to forge closer relationships.”
Mr Busby said one client they will be catching up with during OTC is marine transport services company GulfMark Offshore, which has its corporate headquarters in Houston.
GulfMark operates one of the largest fleet of offshore vessels in the North Sea and is still expanding its fleet.
Mr Busby added: “Oil and gas remains a very important sector for us. In quarter one of this year, the Aberdeen office had committed nearly £300million of new credit lines for a variety of purposes including working capital, capital expenditure, bonding lines, and acquisitions – highlighting the level of activity in the sector.”
Scottish independent financial planning practice Carbon Financial Partners is back at OTC for a third time.
Investment director Barry O’Neill said: “We’ve found it to be an excellent way to meet key members of the oil and gas community and their professional advisers in an open and relaxed environment where people are genuinely interested in working together.
“We have forged some excellent relationships over the last three years.”
Mr O’Neill is in Houston with colleagues Paul Gibson, a certified financial planner, and Mark Christie, a corporate director.