A major new conference has been announced for the oil and gas industry next month, which will take place in North East England – reflecting a growing confidence in the revitalised sector.

Durham-based NOF Energy is hosting the inaugural Oil and Gas Conference and Exhibition to highlight the growing number of commercial opportunities available to supply chain companies.

The business development organisation for the oil, gas, power and offshore renewables sector has lined up a number of major industry experts to speak on topics ranging from current and future oil and gas projects to the latest developments in subsea, exploration and production.

More than 200 delegates and up to 40 exhibitors are expected to attend the event at the Xcel Centre in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham, on Thursday October 4th, which is Headline Sponsored by Mistras Group, with Energy Central as Gold Sponsor.

George Rafferty, Chief Executive of NOF Energy, said: “The UK supply chain, including those situated in the North East, have the necessary experience and expertise to benefit from this encouraging upturn in the oil and gas sector.

“The previous crash in crude oil prices combined with high operating costs sent a shockwave through the industry and led to a number of supply chain businesses to diversify into other sectors, such as offshore wind. However, their skills and expertise are still applicable and continue to be valued by the oil and gas sector.

“This conference reflects a growing confidence within the industry and will signpost how best supply chain companies can take advantage of a range of new and exciting opportunities.”

Industry body Oil & Gas UK’s latest study predicts that – following a 14 per cent fall in the workforce during 2017 – that total employment figures within the sector have now stabilised and are forecast to record a slight rise this year.

Higher oil prices have already seen increased activity across the sector. One such company to benefit is UK independent Premier Oil, which has more than doubled its after-tax profit to £76.3m.

Premier Oil now plans to increase production from the Catcher field, off Aberdeen, and recently announced it is to develop the Tolmount Main gas field off the Yorkshire coast. The Greater Tolmount area is estimated to contain up to one trillion cubic feet of gas.

The conference, held in conjunction with industry body Subsea UK, Subsea North East and Decom North Sea, will highlight opportunities in the exploration and discovery process, subsea and decommissioning sectors.

It will provide the chance for companies chasing contracts to meet key industry players and build up contacts with other supply chain firms.

Delegates will be welcomed by Bruce Heppenstall, Chief Executive Officer of Newcastle-based BEL Valves and Chairman of Subsea North East.

Among the speakers attending are Calum Hayton, a senior executive in BP’s Global Subsea Systems unit; Roy Stenhouse, SLS New Services and Business Development at Aker Solutions and Stuart Martin, of Ardent Global, who will provide a contractors’ perspective on subsea decommissioning.

Other speakers include: Jonathan Spencer of the Department of International Trade, who will advise on how supply chain companies can access international markets, Dr Mariesha Jaffray, Continuous Improvement Manager at Oil & Gas UK; and energy sector economist Steve Robertson, Director of Westwood Global Energy Group.

Mr Robertson, who heads its Oilfield Services Research group, is a regular keynote speaker and member of the Energy Institute and the Society for Underwater Technology.

A chargeable networking dinner at Redworth Hall Hotel, Newton Aycliffe, will be held on the evening of Wednesday, October 3rd.

For further details and tickets visit https: www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/oil-gas-conference-and-exhibition-tickets-47667347319