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Industry leaders at LAGCOE say innovation is key for the future

Oct 27, 2015

Industry leaders at LAGCOE say innovation is key for the future

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The Louisiana Gulf Coast Oil Exposition kicked off today. It's now in its 60th year and is one of the largest oil and gas expositions in the country.

In 2013, the event brought in about 17,000 attendees. But then, the price for a barrel of oil was around $100. Now that a barrel of oil is at about $45, many wonder what we can expect for the future and even industry leaders say it's not clear.

"That requires a crystal ball," LAGCOE Chairman, Steve Maley, said.

But Maley explained that the industry has dealt with times like this before and rebounded.

"We have been through a couple of booms and right now we are in a bust, but what we have learned from the previous bust is that those are really times of opportunity for some people," Maley said.

Maley said that opportunity lies with those than can create new and desirable innovations.

"Thursday we will have our first energy innovation pitch competition," INNOV8 Acadiana Executive Director Keith Padros said. "We have 10 innovators that are here from all over the country, even one from Brazil. They will pitch shark-tank style in front of a panel of judges."

The new innovations range from using lightning patterns to discover new areas of oil and gas, more efficient technology, to phone apps and more.

"The oil and gas industry spends a lot of money, so new ideas for saving 15 minutes of rig time can be extremely valuable and translate into great business opportunities for new entrepreneurs," Maley said.

This means industry leaders are taking a lot of notes at the expo.

"Hopefully the next new great idea that will transform the industry is just right around the corner," Maley said.

The "Shark Tank" style competition will take place at the expo 10:30 a.m. Thursday.