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Petroleum show draws hundreds
Nearly 500 delegates attend 2012 Inuvik Petroleum Show as focus shifts from Mackenzie Gas project

Thandiwe Vela
Northern News Services
Published Thursday, June 21, 2012

Hundreds of oil and gas industry representatives from across the country were in town this week for the 2012 Inuvik Petroleum Show.

NNSL photo/graphic

Inuvik Petroleum Show delegates chat as members of the public tour the exhibition area of the trade show on Tuesday. - Thandiwe Vela/NNSL photo

Organizers said the 12th annual event was a great success, after early estimates of about 300 registered delegates bumped up to close to 500 delegates with late registrations as the show kicked off Tuesday morning at the Midnight Sun Complex.

Attendees this year said they were impressed by the Town of Inuvik and this year's trade show.

"Inuvik is an interesting place to be at this time of year and it's not just the show, it's the weather, the midnight sun, and the people are great," said Walter Orr, a senior civil engineer at Stantec Inc. who has attended the Inuvik Petroleum Show for six years. "There's a huge benefit with the connections that you make and maintain at a show like this."

In addition to industry representatives, Premier Bob McLeod, David Ramsey, minister of Industry, Tourism, and Investment, and former premier Floyd Roland, who served as a moderator at the show, also participated.

Fred Carmichael, chairperson of the Aboriginal Pipeline Group, commended Mayor Denny Rogers for "keeping this (Inuvik Petroleum) show on the road," as the event's focus has evolved from a Mackenzie Gas Pipeline promotional event to more recent oil and gas developments in the North, including Beaufort offshore exploration and shale oil activity in the Sahtu region.

"It's been easy to keep interest because we've built a reputation for putting on a good show, with well-known speakers and presenters," Rogers said.

"We're pleased this year to see that the interest is still really high," event organizer Jackie Challis said.

Speakers this year included business correspondent Amanda Lang, and activists Vivian Krause and Ezra Levant.

The status of the Mackenzie Gas Project amid the current stop in project activity was a major topic of discussion and the theme of the first session of the show, which included an update on the project from Heather Marreck, Imperial Oil's development executive on the project.

"Nobody's throwing in the towel on the Mackenzie Valley pipeline," Ramsay said in response to a question on growing concern that the project will not go ahead.

The construction of the all-weather Inuvik to Tuktoyaktuk Mackenzie Valley highway was also a main topic of discussion.

Among the estimated 300 members of the public who attended the tradeshow were Sandra Grenier, her sister Carol Soles, and husband Dennis. The trio came for the petroleum show and to spend Aboriginal Day in Inuvik with a group of eight from Vancouver Island, Cranbrook, and Sicamous, B.C.

Nearly 100 exhibitors representing the Northern oil and gas industry and its service providers had booths set up with draws and other promotional items this year.

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