The tone of the media towards the Oil and Gas industry has been pretty grim lately, but if you were lucky enough to attend the Mexican Congress of Petroleum (Congreso Mexicano del Petróleo) this past June, in vibrant Monterrey, it would have been easy to think the industry has never been better. I was proud to be representing Genesis Petroleum this year and presenting the paper ‘Opportunities to Improve Drilling in the new model of Subsidiarie Productive Enterprises in Mexico’, which we wrote with our exclusive agent in Mexico, Mr José Abelardo Sánchez Araiza.  I have to say the atmosphere at the conference was amazing. ‘Reforma Energetica’, Mexico’s impending transformation of the energy sector, doesn’t seem to have scared off many new entrants to the field, as I had a great time becoming acquainted with many new industry faces. Of course the ‘who’s who’ of the Mexican industry were all present too, so it was a good opportunity to catch up with some old friends as well.

The Mexican Congress of Petroleum (CMP), organised by Colegio de Ingenieros Petroleros de México, has grown to become Mexico’s largest annual Oil and Gas conference, and is considered to be Latin America’s most important forum for the exchange of technological and scientific trends, strategies and the latest innovations in the field. From exploration and production, gas and petrochemical, geophysical, refining, geology, pipelines and information systems, all aspects of Oil and Gas were represented at a variety of conferences, trade show booths and workshops from June 8th to June 11th. A golf tournament, cocktail evening and a ‘Northern’ themed closing night were some of the official social events on offer for attendees to mingle away from the hustle and bustle of the show floor. Of course I can’t admit that the social events are the real reason GPT comes to the conference each year, but I will say they are the icing on the cake for what was an awesome few days presenting alongside our industry peers. The closing ceremony was a personal highlight of mine this year.

With so many outstanding industry figures in one place, the conference always proves to be an excellent opportunity for networking. For us seasoned veterans of the conference world it is almost second nature to meet and connect with so many people over the course of a few days, but for new entrants I can only imagine how confronting the whole experience must be. No one can tell you who you should aim to meet and how long to chat for, but one piece of advice I will offer to newbies is this: go with a plan, but don’t limit yourself to only those who you think could be potential clients or are operating in your specific field…the next best thing to come to your business might be from the most unexpected place on the showroom floor. The worst thing that can happen from starting a conversation with folks at the seemingly most unrelated booth is the start of a new friendship, right?

A lot of us went into the Mexican Congress of Petroleum with the oil price and local industry changes at the back of our mind, but those thoughts quickly gave way to what I can only describe as the feeling of one big family getting together. Friends, competitors, nobodies and somebodies, we all connect and learn from each other at conferences like CMP, and together we push our industry forward –  to rise above market volatilities and regulatory challenges, and to cement the industry as a sustainable force that literally achieves the impossible each and every day. I am looking forward to attending CMP in 2017!

– Carlos