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NOIA 2012 Annual Meeting Review



From left to right: Rick Martin of Compass Publications; Jerry Schlief, consultant of acquisitions and development for ATP Oil & Gas Corp.; Jack Moore, chairman, president and CEO of Cameron; and Paul Bulmahn, chairman and CEO of ATP Oil & Gas Corp. (Photo credit: NOIA)

The National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA) held its 2012 Annual Meeting on March 14 and 16 at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Washington, D.C., with 167 members in attendance.

Several media representatives and experts spoke on the state of the U.S. economy, national security and politics, and how they will affect the offshore oil and gas industry. Presenters and attendees discussed direct regulation of contractors, doing business in Brazil, energy education outreach, crisis response and communications, and the Waterotor, an emerging renewable energy technology for the Gulf of Mexico oil platform market.

During the meeting, ATP Oil & Gas Corp. (Houston, Texas) was awarded the 2012 National Ocean Industries Association Safety in Seas Award, which is sponsored by Compass Publications Inc., the publisher of Sea Technology.

Nicolette Nye, NOIA’s director of public affairs, compiled this account of the annual meeting.


General Speakers
Dana Perino. A former press secretary for President George W. Bush and now a commentator on Fox News, Dana Perino gave an overview of the U.S. political outlook, including her prognosis for the 2012 presidential race. She noted that offshore energy development was once again at the center of the political debate, as it was during the run-up to the presidential election in 2008. She praised NOIA for its approach in speaking publicly about offshore energy policy.

Mark Zandi. Chief economist and co-founder of Moody’s Analytics Mark Zandi was optimistic about the economy due to strong numbers nationwide and consistent growth. He predicted that 2012 will be a good year economically, with further improvement in the next three years that will see the American economy back to almost full strength.

Zandi said companies have been experiencing wide profit margins, adding that the question is no longer whether businesses can invest but a question of confidence.

Kellyanne Conway. NOIA members were excited to hear again from pollster Kellyanne Conway, who spoke about the upcoming election, and different factors and demographics that might have a serious impact on its outcome.

One of the main factors affecting the election, she said, was the “perversion of the American dream,” which she defined as the belief that the life of your children will not necessarily be better than yours. Contributing to this conundrum are rising energy and food costs, and the pervading economic crisis.

Conway introduced various demographics that she felt would have a significant impact on the election, specifically those issues affecting a Republican victory. The first demographic is women, who traditionally favor incumbents, make up 53 percent of the vote and voted 56 percent for Obama in 2008. Young people are another demographic that could influence the election. Though they voted overwhelmingly for Obama in 2008, upon campaign promises of hope and change, they no longer support the president in the numbers they did before, she said.

Other demographics are Hispanic and Asian voters, independents, and the white working class, the latter of which seems troublesome for most candidates. In the end, said Conway, people are going to vote for “who’s most like me.” Her predictions for the outcome of the 2012 election have Obama losing, despite his advantages and fervent supporters.

In the Senate elections, she predicts Republicans will come close to taking control but ultimately will fall short. She anticipates there will be some freshmen losses in the House, but Republicans will retain their hold.


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