Red Deer Oil & Gas Expo organizer Dwayne McArthur has been busy promoting the September event

Red Deer Oil & Gas Expo organizer Dwayne McArthur has been busy promoting the September event

Oil, gas expo hits gusher

The inaugural Red Deer Oil & Gas Expo is attracting a broad range of exhibitors from across Canada and beyond.

The inaugural Red Deer Oil & Gas Expo is attracting a broad range of exhibitors from across Canada and beyond.

Approximately 175 companies had registered for the Sept. 11 and 12 trade show as of last week, with many of these committing to multiple booth spaces, said organizer Dwayne McArthur.

“We have a number of exhibitors from other provinces and even from the United States — as far as Texas,” said McArthur, who admitted that he had expected only Central Alberta businesses to show interest.

Much of the space in Westerner Park’s Prairie and Stockmen’s pavilions has now been spoken for, he added, although more booth spaces could be created by changing the orientation of the show area.

There has also been a run on the 30-foot by 30-foot outdoor exhibit spots, which initially numbered 78.

“We’ve now increased that to 183 and we are very close to being full.”

Not only have the companies showing interest in the expo been many, they’ve been varied.

“We have, what I would consider every aspect of the oil and gas industry,” said McArthur.

Several presentations are planned for the two-day show.

Speaking on Wednesday will be Scott Arnold, director of sustainability and external relations with Syncrude partner Canadian Oil Sands Ltd.; and Mark Scholz, president of the Canadian Association of Oilwell Drilling Contractors.

The next day will feature Jerry Hanna, CEO of Clearflow Enviro Systems Group Inc.; and Red Deer Mayor Morris Flewwelling.

McArthur said he hopes members of the general public will attend the expo, which will be free to attend.

“Our number 1 mandate is to create awareness of where the oil and gas industry is in Central Alberta today.”

Scheduled to run concurrent with the Red Deer Oil & Gas Expo will be Boutiques For Women, which grew out of the long-running World of Women show. It’ll take place in the Prairie Pavilion salons, said McArthur, and will provide an alternative venue for expo attendees and exhibitors, and their family members.

The timing of the Oil & Gas Expo should be good, with the Canadian Association of Oilwell Drilling Contractors to hold its fall conference for service rig operators in Red Deer on Sept. 11 and the conference for drilling rig operators in Nisku on Sept. 12, said McArthur.

Arrangements have already been for the Red Deer Oil & Gas Expo and Boutiques For Women to return to Westerner Park in September 2015. But that timeline might move forward to next year.

McArthur explained that he had planned to run the Red Deer events in opposite years to the Calgary Global Petroleum Show. But it was recently announced that the Calgary show will now be held every year instead of its tradition of every second year — prompting him to rethink his own timing.

Additional information about the 2013 Red Deer Oil & Gas Expo and Boutiques For Women can be found online at www.reddeeroilandgasexpo.com.

hrichards@bprda.wpengine.com