Adjusting to a new reality at Subsea Expo

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Subsea UK is urging the industry to face the future and adapt to the new reality when it brings its annual flagship event to Aberdeen this week.

More than 5,000 people from 49 countries are set to descend on the Aberdeen Exhibition & Conference Centre from 7-9 February when Subsea Expo 2018, Europe’s largest, annual subsea conference and exhibition returns.

This year’s theme – ‘Facing the Future’ – will examine what must be done to reinvent the industry in a lower price environment and ensure the UK maintains its world-leading position.

Neil Gordon, chief executive of Subsea UK said: “The industry has recognised the need for change, innovation and diversification, and made great efforts to ensure the UK remains competitive within the rapidly evolving marketplace.

“It has taken some time, but the industry is now adjusting to a more stable oil price between $60-70/bbl. We are also starting to see some progress in terms of improved behaviours leading to more successful collaboration outcomes, but there is still much to do in this area ensuring supplier engagement earlier in the project lifecycle.

“Projects are being re-worked, priorities are being re-evaluated and enabling technologies are being applied to maximise efficiencies, reduce cycle times and lower costs. It’s now time to embed these new ways of working to ensure the future is bright, regardless of the oil price. With 55% of UK subsea revenue now attributed to exports, it’s important that we maintain our efforts to increase overseas opportunities. We have also seen strong growth in offshore renewables and many subsea companies have improved their resilience in the current climate by increasing their activities in wind, wave and tidal. We look forward to discussing and debating these topics, amongst many others, at Subsea Expo 2018.”

More than 150 organisations will be showcasing their products and services, including 36 first-time exhibitors. The 2018 programme is packed with high profile industry speakers from a number of companies including Aker Solutions, BP, Wood and Shell UK. Presentations will cover maximising global opportunities, small pools, data gathering, ROVs, visualisation, pipelines, life extension and efficiency, and inspection and integrity.

The event’s plenary session, chaired by Mr Gordon, will set the scene for the week and stimulate debate with presentations from a number of high profile industry figures including Andrew Reid from Westwood Global Energy Group, Mike Backus of Nexen Petroleum UK, Simon Elliston from BEIS and Tim Cornelius of Atlantis Resources.

As part of Subsea Expo’s ‘Global Opportunities’ programme, the Department of International Trade (DIT) will be hosting one-to-one meetings with in-country experts in a bid to match UK expertise with demand from key oil and gas provinces, including Azerbaijan, India, Brazil, and Mexico.

Subsea Expo’s gala dinner and awards ceremony, on Thursday (8 February), will see a selection of the country’s most innovative, dynamic and successful subsea businesses recognised for their success over the past 12 months. Neil Gordon will host the ceremony alongside former UK Government minister and chairman of Triumph Motorcycles Limited, Lord Digby Jones as guest speaker.

Companies will also get the opportunity to connect with the ‘subsea leaders of tomorrow’, when a host of schools and universities visit the exhibition on Friday (9 February).  OPITO will once again be running its Energise Your Future event which will see more than 100 students learn about the exciting and diverse careers in the sector.

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