Blog: Offshore Technology Conference

Today, the world’s largest annual energy conferences kicks off in Houston, Texas. With more than 70,000 delegates and 2,000 exhibiting companiesfrom over 110 counties, the Offshore Technology Conference is big on a scale that only the U.S. can manage.

Bob Ruddiman
Bob Ruddiman

For several years McGrigors has sent a number of its Energy team along to the conference, and this year they’ll be accompanied by a number of soon-to-be colleagues from Pinsent Masons.

With early mornings and late nights very-much on the cards, its going to be a hectic few days. However, the team will be blogging exclusively for The Lawyer.

Up first, Bob Ruddiman, Head of Energy at McGrigors.

10 hours of flying time -no calls, no new e-mail and a viewing of Clint Eastwood’s J.Edgar for a bit of American context.

Lots of industry players on the flight over and a number of oil themes debated mid-air – lots to ponder and all to play for. Arriving in Houston is always a mixed bag of emotions – relief that a long flight is over and then a minor sense of foreboding at the prospect of “getting in line” for immigration, and the inevitable photo shoot and finger printing. Mindful of a recent read of Gary Mulgrew’s “Gang of One” it is a relief to be visiting on an ESTA form.

The freeway hums with the distinctive noise of the petrol engine and the massive sprawl of Houston unfolds as we head to HQ for the next few days.

Our driver proudly points out Houston’s tallest building. Scale is important here. A cursory glance reminds us that Houston is a lot more than oil…its renewables, medical science, a freight hub and a whole lot more. Notwithstanding the modern feel of the city, I pass on a reminder to the guys of the role of the Scots in Houston history – we lost some of our boys at the Alamo, so we’re always made to feel welcome!

Safely in my room, TV on and its election fever….Gingrich is out of the running and I make a mental note to keep off politics unless invited to comment. Quick beer from one of the local micro breweries and a meal where scale is once again the theme – the appetisers are enough to keep me going for a day, but the steak was good! Dinner conversation consists of heated debate about renewables and whether or not Donald Trump mentioned the Texan windfarms during his remarkable visit to Holyrood earlier in the week.