By Yemie Adeoye
Major operators in downstream petroleum sector have thrown their weight behind the OTL Africa Downstream Conference & Exhibition 2009.
According to the organisers of the conference the developmentÂ is coming as in the form of collaborative involvement and sponsorship commitment of major downstream players including Navgas, NNPC, Oando Marketing, Chevron Oil .
The Hon. Minister of Petroleum Resources, Dr. Rilwanu Lukman will declare this yearâ€™s OTL Africa Downstream Conference open, the organisersÂ said.
Also expectedÂ is the Minister of State for Petroleum, Mr Odein Ajumogobia (SAN), that of Finance, Remi Babalola and a host of local and international speakers and exhibitors.
The annual Oil Trading and Logistics Conference which is the principal downstream petroleum event in Africa, attracts participants from across the continent. Recent developments in downstream business have positioned the event as a rallying point for industry response.
Chairman of the OTL Africa organising committee, Mr. Emeka Akabogu said that the event is holding at the most strategic time particularly for Nigeria as the host country, given the significant unfolding and precedent events in downstream petroleum. Of particular importance according to him are the bankingÂ reforms with its impact on financing petroleum products importation, in addition to the full deregulation of the downstream sector which is planned to commenc soon.
Among issues to be canvassed at OTL AFRICA 2009 include financing, trading, importation, refining, storage, supply, transportation, distribution and pricing of petroleum products. Others include pipelines, contracts, marketing, distribution and LPG.
A major innovation in this yearâ€™s edition is the OTL Africa Downstream Exhibition, which is Africaâ€™s first dedicated downstream petroleum platform for showcasing products, services, capabilities, technology and plans in African downstream petroleum industry.
An adjunct of the highly successful OTL Africa Conference, the exhibition draws on the diverse industry representation regularly attracted by the Conference and strategically sets out to ensure maximum visibility for all exhibitors. It affords the only specifically targeted market for high-end products, services and transactions in Nigerian downstream petroleum, and one of very few in Africa.
As part of efforts towards promoting best practice in downstream petroleum business, this yearâ€™s event also includes the OTL Downstream Petroleum Awards, an evening of cocktails and comfort in the relaxed presence of industry professionals, colleagues and decision- makers. The Awards recognize outstanding achievement in downstream petroleum business.
The awards are open to all companies involved in downstream petroleum participating in the conference and nominated for any of the five award categories viz.:Transformational Project Award,Â Marketing Innovation Award, Exceptional Growth Award Corporate Social Responsibility Award and Outstanding Brand Award.