The final PVF Roundtable of 2013 broke yet another attendance record.
The industrial PVF industry gathering at the JW Marriott in Houston attracted an all-time high 460 registrants, continuing a string of strong attendance numbers. All 2013 meetings have featured registration numbers north of 400.
“A lot of it has to do with the new young talent coming into the industry,” PVF Roundtable President Danny Westbrook (Westbrook Mfg.) told Supply House Times. “I’m hoping it has to do with the scholarship funds we are creating for our industry and our colleges. It’s also the quality of speakers. The pertinent information they are bringing to us has a lot to do with it.”
Oil and gas industry on the up
After the standard and extremely popular nearly two-hour networking session (followed by dinner), keynote speaker Mark Peters (publisher of the Oil & Gas Financial Journal) painted a bright future for the U.S. oil and gas industry. Peters said that optimism stems from recent technological advances.
“It’s basically the improved technology in fracking oil and gas in tight formations which have been wasted areas for this industry forever until five to seven years ago when it was proven how to extract the oil and gas,” he told Supply House Times.
“We’ve lowered the price of the extraction. We have great growth potential, which is going to lead to expansion throughout the downstream areas from the oil and gas production capacity. We’ll see more petrochemical facilities added, more refining capacity added in certain processing units and more pipeline capacity.”
Good news for industrial PVF distributors
Peters added distributors of industrial pipe, valves and fittings are currently in a good position. “The nice thing about the oil and gas industry for these folks is we still have to use metal. We can’t get by with PVC,” he said. “Everything they are dealing with we are going to use for safety considerations. All of these industries are some of the heaviest users of pipe, valves and fittings. It will be a very good opportunity over the next four to 10 years.”
Peters noted the industry future looks good, but cautioned there still could be some potential hiccups.
“The downfall will come about if the general economy stops growing,” he said. “Government regulation is always a concern in this industry. There is increased taxation and putting areas off limits to explore. All of those are usually the downfall when you get into the exploration of oil and gas.”
PVF Roundtable’s TroutBlast fishing event
Westbrook noted the PVF Roundtable’s recent involvement in the industry TroutBlast fishing event was a big success. He added PVF Roundtable will continue its involvement in the annual fall fishing tournament. This year’s TroutBlast drew more than 250 fishermen.
“We were approached by a man that had been doing the TroutBlast the last 13 years and he thought it would be a great way to raise scholarship funds for PVF Roundtable and asked if we would like to be part of it,” Westbrook said.
“It was a great event. A lot of the same people who go to our meetings and play in our golf tournament (held in May to raise PVF Roundtable scholarship funds as well) were at TroutBlast. We’re looking forward to next year. We’ll kind of call it our fall event. I think it is going to become as successful as our golf tournament has. They had a great turnout this year.”
Looking forward to next year’s PVF Roundtable Meeting
PVF Roundtable returns Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014 at the JW Marriott. Chicago Tube & Iron President and CEO Dr. Don McNeeley returns as the keynote speaker. McNeeley’s presentation earlier this year was extremely well-received.
Westbrook also revealed the recipient of the new PVF Roundtable PVF Leadership Award will be honored at the February meeting. He added the nomination and selection process for the award will start in November.
“We used to have a leadership award when my father started the organization,” he said. “We decided to bring it back. With the award we want to acknowledge persons who have contributed to our industry significantly. I want people to give this award a lot of thought. PVF Roundtable has become a big deal and I want the leadership award to become a big deal. We want that person to be very deserving.”
New PVF Roundtable members include Boccard Piping, Mincron Software Systems, Blue Mountain Capital, Specialty Metal Products, SCI Sharp Controls, Kessler Sales, FlexSteel Pipe and U.S. Alloys.