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Offshore Europe 2015: The world’s largest upstream oil and gas conference and exhibition outside North America

25 August 2015

The future of the oil and gas industry depends on two key factors to help meet global demand for its products and services: attracting and retaining the right people and developing smarter technologies. But these are also two of the industry’s main challenges, which this year’s SPE Offshore Europe aims to address with a conference theme of ‘how to inspire the next generation’ – both in terms of people and technology. 

This free-to-attend global biennial event, the world’s largest upstream oil and gas conference and exhibition outside North America, will be held at the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre from 8-11 September 2015.

Despite the current tough market conditions, oil and gas will remain indispensable to the world for securing heat, light, mobility and prosperity for many decades to come.

According to the International Energy Agency’s World Energy Outlook 2014, oil and gas will still supply around half of the world’s energy by 2040.

Sourcing skilled, innovative and motivated people and developing new technologies are essential for the industry to be successful in meeting this demand.

Over the four days of the conference there will be a series of keynote sessions, technical sessions, topical lunches and breakfast briefings. The keynote programme will focus on the basic challenge of meeting energy demand while balancing concerns over climate change, security of supply and consumer affordability. Topics such as health, environmental risks, the safety and security of upstream assets, and how to compete with other high-tech industries will also be addressed.

Speakers will comprise a mix of senior representatives from international operating companies and contractors, as well as government regulators and academia.

Michael Engell-Jensen, Keynote Chair of SPE Offshore Europe 2015 and Executive Director of the International Association of Oil & Gas Producers, comments: “Our licence to operate ultimately depends on addressing society’s concerns about the industry’s operations and the hydrocarbons on which the world relies. Our activities must be regarded as both acceptable and useful.”

The development of technology to access resources from increasingly challenging locations and reservoirs is also fundamental to the future of the industry and forms another strand of the event’s focus on inspiring the next generation. More than 75 technical papers covering topics such as asset and well integrity, smart field development, subsea, talent development, process safety, and decommissioning will be presented over the four days.

Continued progress

Technical Chair of SPE Offshore Europe and Chief Executive Officer of Expro, Charles Woodburn, adds: “Whilst we continue to push the boundaries of technology and innovation, we must find better ways to attract and encourage the next generation of talent into our industry. 

“For the first time we are including papers based on both people and technical challenges, to address both aspects in parallel. By embedding this approach within the fabric of SPE Offshore Europe 2015, we will deliver a conference that ensures continued progress within our industry.”
The exhibition space will include a diverse range of exploration and production companies from around the world, showcasing their technologies, services and expertise.

Around 1500 organisations are expected this year, including at least 277 companies exhibiting for the first time at the show.

New exhibitors include both large and small organisations such as Saipem, Tata Steel, Pro-Mexico, Liebherr, Bluebeam Software, Derrick Services and Stress Engineering. Exhibitors will represent the complete supply chain of companies including operators, drilling contractors and oilfield service companies, consolidating Aberdeen’s established reputation as a supplier of services and products to global projects. Early feedback from registered visitors indicates that a large proportion of them are engaged on projects all over the world.

Reflective of the global nature of the industry as a whole there will be a large international exhibitor presence with 33 international pavilions booked so far. Large delegations are expected from Malaysia, Nigeria and Korea. UK Trade & Investment commercial officers from around the globe will also be available to meet with UK companies to discuss the opportunities that exist in each of their respective markets. Countries and regions that are likely to be represented include Brazil, East Africa, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Nigeria, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, and Norway.

The Deepwater Zone is dedicated to the latest state-of-the-art technologies helping the industry advance into one of the world’s most challenging, harsh – yet potentially commercially rewarding – environments. Despite pressures on operator budgets deferring the sanctioning of certain projects, a Douglas Westwood report of April 2015 still expects deepwater expenditure to increase by 69%, compared to the preceding fi ve-year period, totalling US$210 billion from 2015 to 2019. Occupying an entire hall at this year’s event, with more than 30 exhibitors booked so far, it is expected that the Deepwater Zone will prove one of the show’s main attractions for both UK and overseas visitors.

'Inspire' programme

With its emphasis on recognising the long-term need for a secure talent pipeline, the SPE will be running ‘Inspire’, its largest ever programme of activities for a younger audience. A wide range of events and workshops throughout the week, organised in advance by SPE and supported by OPITO, will allow students to learn more about the industry, and engage with it face-to-face.

With so many industry leaders and influencers under one roof, there will be ample opportunities to network and catch up with colleagues from around the world. As John Deasey, Sales Manager for Trelleborg Offshore, summed up: “A great meeting place to see old and new friends and to catch up on the latest technology.”

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