Dr. Babajide Ademola Agunbiade, director at National Oilwell Varco (NOV) Photo: Gazelle Media Group

The Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) returns in person for the first time in three years at NRG Center on May 2.

For three days, thousands of the world’s energy professionals are expected to attend the conference and various programs which included the premiere of Fashion Meets Technology OTC Mixer at Saks 5th Avenue in the uptown area.

The welcome mixer served as the conference kickoff which provided a private luxury shopping experience for an estimated 150 Black elite individuals representing national oil companies worldwide. It was hosted by Dr. Babajide Ademola Agunbiade, director at National Oilwell Varco (NOV) and one of the world’s leading subsea production experts based in Houston.

“The OTC is the Super Bowl of the oil and gas events in the world. You have people from the major oil-producing countries in sub-Saharan African networking and sharing ideas and learning about the learn about new technological innovation,” said Agunbiade. “What I’m trying to do is showcase their talents, especially some of our partners who’ve utilized our technologies in Houston to produce results back in Africa”

Houston is considered to be the energy capital of the world. The city employs close to a third of the nation’s jobs in oil and gas extraction and in Africa, the oil and gas sector is considered one of the most important sectors in many oil-rich nations and has historically been a primary driver of economic growth.

Chibueze Maduabuchukwu, owner of Red Hot Energy

Chibueze Maduabuchukwu traveled from Nigeria to participate in his 10th year at the conference. He is the owner of a drilling service company called Red Hot Energy and came to meet the top players in the industry to discuss challenges in the sector and ways to improve. 

“It’s amazing to see all of these Black professionals in one space,” he said. “My company has done some business with NOV. We’ve bought equipment from them and when I learned he was hosting this, it only made sense to come.” 

Ashley Williams-Booker, President and CEO of Complete Logistics Service Inc.

Guest enjoyed handcrafted cocktails, hor dourves, and an interactive demo by technology sponsors Samsung while shopping in Sak’s new retail collections provided by event sponsors NOV and Post Oak Motor Cars. 

“This is my first time attending this mixer. I’m just breaking into the oil and gas industry again,” said Ashley Williams-Booker, President and CEO of Complete Logistics Service Inc. “I deal with a lot of older caucasian men and I deal with a lot of adversity because I am a Black woman in this space. I’ve often been turned down from major contracts because I’m a woman so I hide my identity a lot or at least until the contract is closed. I’m here to step out and into my own greatness.”

I cover Houston's education system as it relates to the Black community for the Defender as a Report for America corps member. I'm a multimedia journalist and have reported on social, cultural, lifestyle,...