WITH A VENUE that focused on the latest industry challenges and technology developments, the Annual International Operating Conference and Trade Show continued to set attendance records. Hosted by the International Liquid Terminals Association (ILTA), the event's turnout grew by about 3%.
Nearly 3,500 people attended this year's International Operating Conference and Trade Show, which was held May 21-23 in Houston, Texas. The program included more than 20 conference presentations, two evening networking receptions, four training workshops, and a day-and-a-half trade show. Three hundred 10 companies exhibited at the trade show — the most ever for the event.
“We're very pleased with the industry participation in this year's event,” said David Doane, ILTA president. “We know that companies have to carefully select which trade shows they will attend. The record number of exhibitors this year demonstrates that ILTA remains the terminal industry's premier event and is the place to be.”
More than 650 storage terminal managers and other attended the conference, which focused on a variety of operational and business topics along with environmental, health, safety, and security issues. Eleven presentations were included in the Spanish track.
To help attendees make the most of the meeting, ILTA launched a new mobile app that allowed them to highlight sessions and build a personalized schedule. The app also contained a complete list of exhibitors and a map of the trade show floor.
The Monday opening session of the conference featured Robert Bryce, an energy expert and journalist. He called the US oil and gas shale revolution the biggest development since the establishment of the East Texas oilfield during the early 20th Century. Oil and natural gas production has grown significantly.
“The entire US economy is benefitting,” he said. “We're seeing a rebirth in US manufacturing, because lower natural gas prices are giving these companies a price advantage over just about every country on the planet. We're just now starting to understand how large the shale fields are in the United States.”
Bryce said the leftwing environmentalist attacks on the oil and gas industry are misguided, at the very least. “Liquid fuel is what powers the transportation industry,” he said. “Without oil, there is no transportation industry. Without transportation, there is no commerce. Oil is absolutely essential. If oil didn't exist, someone would invent it. The most mobile people in the world are also the wealthiest.”
On Tuesday, the keynote speaker was Dan Burrus, a technology futurist. He gave a thought-provoking presentation on how technology is continually changing the rules of competition, rendering many traditional business strategies and processes obsolete.
The safety award program continues to grow, and 14 companies were recognized for their achievements during the Safety Breakfast on Tuesday. Two companies demonstrating exemplary safety cultures were awarded the 2012 Platinum Safety Award — CITGO Petroleum Corporation for the large terminal category and Motiva Enterprises — New Jersey Complex for the small terminal.
The Platinum Safety Award is a solid crystal storage tank depicted with a floating roof. The tank is seven and one-half inches high and slightly more than five inches in diameter. It has three-dimensional detailing of the roof, a manway, and a water supply line for the foam chambers. Stairs and panel seams also are part of the etched detailing.
Safety Excellence Awards went to 11 terminal companies that achieved a safety record of less than one injury per 100 workers in 2011. The companies are: Asphalt Operating Services LLC, Buckeye Terminals LLC, Enterprise Products Partners LP, Flint Hills Resources, Hess Corporation, Marathon Petroleum Company LP, Murphy Oil Corporation, NuStar Energy LP, Petro-Diamond Terminal Co Inc, Sunoco Logistics Partners LP, and US Venture Inc.
In addition, TransMontaigne Product Services Inc received a Safety Improvement Award for demonstrating significant improvement in its safety record over the past four years.
Seven terminal companies earned special recognition for participating in ILTA's annual safety survey each year since inception of the program in 2003. The companies are: Colonial Terminals Inc, Hess Corporation, Houston Fuel Oil Terminal Company, Intercontinental Terminals Company, International-Matex Tank Terminals, LBC Houston LP, and Odfjell Terminals (Houston) Inc.
The 33rd Annual ILTA International Operating Conference and Trade Show are planned for June 3-5, 2013 at the Hilton Americas-Houston and the George R Brown Convention Center in Houston. ♦