OTC 2016 Showcases a Still-Sluggish Oil Market, But Industry Players Focus on Recovery


Earlier this month, Houston hosted the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC). The world’s largest O&G show was smaller than usual this year, though, as the oil slump moves into its second year and the market remains sluggish. While 2014 drew in 108,300 attendees and 2015 brought in 94,700, this year saw a 37% drop from 2014’s record-setting attendance with only 68,000 attendees. More than 2,600 companies from 47 different countries exhibited – numbers comparable to previous years’ – but it was clear regardless that the market is in a time of recovery and not one of equilibrium or growth.

Even in a time when the oil and gas industry is holding its breath, though, OTC 2016 showed a continued focus on innovation that may help the sector dig its way out of the current slump, with new technologies – from pumps to alloys – offering glimpses of more efficient ways to drill and carry out downhole operations. In O&G, as in other industries, slow times demand creativity and innovation to stay afloat and try to advance. This offers a cue to industries that support the energy sector, as well.

From the electronics distribution side, flexibility is key in supporting the O&G partners who are struggling to find their equilibrium and ways to advance in the current market clime. Independent distributors like Smith & Associates are able to deliver this flexibility, with supply chain and inventory management solutions like those offered by Smith’s Global Services division delivering customized programs to help oil and gas partners manage their operations. From expert, worldwide sourcing to more complex and long-term solutions such as VMI or excess management programs, Smith is able to support customers in any industry.

And – though some things change with market shifts – other needs remain the same. Counterfeiting remains a virulent threat worldwide, and Smith does our part to combat inauthentic components with the strength and resources of our ISO/IEC 17025 accredited anti-counterfeiting and functional testing labs and CCCI-102 certified inspectors.

It’s not always easy to navigate uncertain markets in the wake of economic shifts, natural disasters, or the other factors that can convolute day-to-day business. But having trusted, independent distribution partners like Smith helps provide a safety net to keep you moving in challenging times.

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