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Offshore Europe 2023 opens with focus on accelerating the energy transition

05 September 2023

To mark the opening of the 2023 SPE Offshore Europe, attendees heard from a panel of leading industry figures and the UK’s Minister of State for Energy Security and Net Zero. Hazardex Editor Alistair Hookway attended the event, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary, and heard from the speakers as they discussed what a pivotal time it is for the industry as the the energy value chain comes together in Aberdeen to help drive decarbonisation and forge ahead to meet the UK’s net zero goals.

The conference opened with a reflective video on Offshore Europe’s history and some of the major milestones of the previous five decades. The video package included highlights of previous iterations, as well as a pre-recorded interview with Offshore Europe’s Founder, David Stott, who looked back on how the major event came about.

Kamel Ben Naceur, CEO, Nomadia Consulting, Conference Chair and SPE President 2022, then took to the stage to welcome attendees and introduce this year’s event. He highlighted three key tracks for this year’s conference: Digital, Net Zero, and Oil & Gas. Ben Naceur then gave some thoughts on the current state of the industry, including how both companies and individuals had proven their resilience following the COVID pandemic, as well as the future of the industry.

Following this, the Rt Hon Graham Stuart, Minister of State for Energy Security and Net Zero in the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero, took to the stage and drew comparisons between the 1973 and 2023 energy crises. Stuart said that the North Sea has a huge role to play in the ongoing energy transition and that the Government wanted to reiterate that UK oil and gas was a part of the solution, not the problem.

Rt Hon Graham Stuart, Minister of State for Energy Security and Net Zero
Rt Hon Graham Stuart, Minister of State for Energy Security and Net Zero

Stuart went on to highlight the UK’s continued role and success in decarbonisation as well as saying North Sea gas is four times cleaner than imported LNG. He added that when the UK meets its legal obligation to become net zero by 2050, oil and gas will still provide around a quarter of the UK’s energy needs.

The Minister concluded by saying that the green transition is not about the UK going without, it is about the adoption of new technologies, new opportunities, and creating a diverse and decarbonised energy industry. Stuart ended his keynote by once again asserting that the current UK Government strongly backs the UK oil and gas sector – a welcome message at a time when the industry is looking for stability and legislative support.

Offshore Europe is taking place between 5-8 September at P&J Live, Aberdeen, Scotland. For more information, visit:

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