By the time Nova Scotians were sitting down to lunch on Tuesday,Sept.2, Nova Scotia’s energy team had put in a full day at theOffshore Europe Oil and Gas Exhibition and Conference inAberdeen, Scotland. Led by Energy Minister Cecil Clarke, the largest Nova Scotiandelegation in over a decade has been networking withrepresentatives of the international oil and gas market anddemonstrating their expertise in today’s offshore environment. The day began with the opening of Nova Scotia’s booth. Apartnership between the Department of Energy and theOffshore/Onshore Technologies Association of Nova Scotia (OTANS),the booth serves as headquarters for the 14 companies andorganizations participating in the event. After attending the opening roundtable, Mr. Clarke toured thefacilities at RIGTRAIN, a state-of-the-art training facilityproviding hands-on training in well control and safety proceduresthat uses simulators and on-site working drilling rigs. “There’s no substitute for the hands-on training these types ofsimulators can provide to workers in the oil and gas industry,”said Mr. Clarke. “That’s why the Department of Energy hassupported the dynamic positioning simulator and other frontlinetraining programs through our partnership with the Nova ScotiaCommunity College.” Later in the afternoon, Nova Scotia hosted a partnership forum,allowing a number of UK companies to learn about the advantagesof doing business with Nova Scotia firms. Natural ResourcesCanada Minister Herb Dhaliwal attended the event, which featuredtestimonials from two major offshore companies, AMEC and theCraig Group. In business for more than 30 years, AMEC plc is an internationalengineering services company with more than 15,000 employeesworldwide. It has partnered with Irving Shipbuilding and Blackand MacDonald. Neil Bruce, managing director, highlighted NovaScotia’s engineering capabilities and AMEC’s vision of makingHalifax a worldwide engineering centre for the company. Douglas Craig, managing director of the Craig Group, adiversified marine services company with more than 70 yearsexperience, stressed the importance of partnerships in buildinginternational opportunities. He also praised local companyWelaptega for its innovation and use of technology. Welaptega haspartnered with the Craig Group on a number of projects includingone of the world’s smallest 3-D underwater cameras. “What we’re seeing here is that Nova Scotia’s investment intraining, in promotion and in building our industry is payingoff,” said Mr. Clarke. “These international, award-winningcompanies are in a position to learn from our experience and ourlocal knowledge through partnerships that help our companies growand access new markets.” The Offshore Europe (OE) conference is among the premier offshoreoil and gas exploration and production events worldwide. OE 2001attracted more than 24,500 visitors from 72 countries.