The ‘O&G Meeting Day’ in Gran Canaria gathers over 140 offshore industry professionals from 22 countries

On 16th and 17th March, the Stier Group, in collaboration with the Government of the Canary Islands, through the Canary Export Promotion Organisation, Proexca, and the Island Council for Gran Canaria (Cabildo), through the Gran Canaria Economic Promotion Society (SPEGC), will hold the O&G Meeting Day, a Forum on the Environment, Quality, Security, Occupational Health and Skills which will take place in the Canary Islands.

In a ceremony this morning, presented by the CEO of the Stier Group, Ida Stier, the Director General for Economic Affairs with Africa of the Canary Government and Managing Director of Proexca, Pablo Martin Carbajal, and the Director of the Gran Canaria Economic Promotion Society (SPEGC), Cosme Garcia Falcon, the importance of this forum, which will bring together in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria more than 140 representatives of the offshore sector from 22 countries, was highlighted. As many as 60% of the participants are consultants and investors who are in the islands to find out on the spot what business opportunities there may be.

The Canaries, a strategic enclave

The Managing Director of the SPEGC, Cosme Garcia Falcon, emphasised the importance that this international gathering will have in consolidating Gran Canaria as a destination for large multinationals from the offshore industry to invest in, and highlighted the potential of this activity for generating employment. Cosme Garcia also expressed his appreciation for the effort made by the Stier Group to ensure this One-day Meeting was held on the island. Garcia highlighted “the business commitment of such an example of success as the firm led by Ida Stier, to whom I am grateful for her unconditional support for Gran Canaria and her interest in diversifying the island’s economy”.

For the CEO of the Stier Group, Ida Stier, “the oil industry is going through a natural life cycle, facing new challenges and changes to adapt to market needs through collaboration, innovation and improvement of its efficiency. However, a reduction in activity could represent a risk for individuals, businesses and the environment, alongside the foreseeable consequence of future precarious skills which could lead us to inflation once the market has been reactivated”. In her opinion, this one-day Oil & Gas Meeting “will favour debates concerning the development of initiatives and will be a good chance to share ideas and experiences, and I hope that the Canary Islands will be at the forefront when the market is reactivated”.

Pablo Martín Carbajal underlined the fact that “the offshore sector is one of those with the greatest potential for growth in the Canary economy at present and is one of the priorities of the action aimed at internationalisation that the Canary Government is developing abroad, to make itself known as a hub and a platform for services with Africa”. In this context, Martin Carbajal recalled that in the last four years there have been various missions to the United States, where many of the leading offshore multinationals operating on the African continent are based and they have led to several firms linked to this sector setting up business in the Canary Islands.

This meeting, which is backed by the regional and local authorities, is a unique opportunity to debate vital aspects which will mark the future of this industry in the Canaries. The islands are a nexus between Europe, Africa and America and offer international businesses, apart from their privileged geostrategic position, technological, legal, social and health services to European standards, which are aspects demanded by the largest industries of the sector when selecting a particular place from which to develop their maintenance, repair, prospection, production and distribution operations.

The first O&G Meeting Day will be centred on five specific points: a day of talks by international speakers, a visit to the port installations, the General Assembly of OPITO Training Centres, an open day at the Stier Group Training Centre and training courses that will be offered by Atlas and the Stier Group.

The first session of the event, on Thursday 16th March, will be held at the Alfredo Kraus Auditorium and will be opened by the President of the Island Council, Antonio Morales, and the Regional Government’s Minister for Economy, Industry, Commerce and Knowledge, Pedro Ortega.

Noteworthy among the speakers are:

  • Eirini Konstantinou, Environmental Impact Assessment/Strategic Environmental Assessment Chief, from the Department of Environment in the Cypriot Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment.
  • Miguel Van Leeuwen Garcia, Executive Director of the Department for Health, the Environment and Security at Babcock MCS in Spain.
  • Christopher Wright, Area Manager-OPITO International Ltd Cyprus and auditor at OPITO Dubai International.
  • Onyebuchi C. Sibeudu, Director of Health, the Environment and Security at the Head Office Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) in Lagos, Nigeria.
  • Henry Adams, partner at Birketts LLP, International Maritime Department.
  • Amadi, President of the Offshore Petroleum Industry Training Organization (OPITO) for Africa.
  • Claudio M. Lamas, founding partner of Islaw Abogados.
  • Pablo Martín Carbajal González, General Director of Africa Relations and CEO of PROEXCA, from the Canary Government;
  • Cosme Garcia Falcon, Managing Director of the Gran Canaria Economic Promotion Society (SPEGC).
  • Beatriz Barrera Vera, President of the Consortium of the Canary Islands Special Zone (ZEC).

The addresses will deal with prevention and safety in offshore operations; OPITO International: OPITO training to achieve the target of a zero accident rate, safety and hygiene at work; safety culture and helicopters; and the case of the development of O&G in Cyprus.

This first forum will complement the specialised training courses to be held as from 13th March within the framework of the XV Meeting in Gran Canaria of the General Assembly of OPITO Training Centres, an event held twice a year.

O&G Meeting Day, in cooperation with Proexca’s brand, Canary Island European Business Hub in Africa, and that of SPEGC, Best in Gran Canaria, will permit a real view of the current methods and evaluation procedures through the contributions of firms that are leaders in the sectors, lawyers, insurers and training centres.

The First O & G Meeting Day will be sponsored by the Canary Government and the Gran Canaria Island Council (Cabildo), with the backing of the Las Palmas Port Authority, Casa Africa, and the firms CCB Zamakona and Albatros Maritimos.