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Offshore Europe 2011 hits new heights

15 September 2011

Record attendance levels at SPE Offshore Europe in Aberdeen have set a new benchmark at the largest exhibition and conference in the event’s history.

Record attendance levels at SPE Offshore Europe in Aberdeen have set a new benchmark at the largest exhibition and conference in the event’s history
Record attendance levels at SPE Offshore Europe in Aberdeen have set a new benchmark at the largest exhibition and conference in the event’s history

The number of attendees at the three-day show rose by 4.2% to an all-time record of 32,025 unique attendees, compared to 30,698 two years ago. This record was achieved despite the last event being held for an extra day. The total cumulative attendance was 48,575, slightly higher than in 2009.

‘Unique attendees’ are individuals who are counted only once, although visiting on more than one day.

A total of 14,633 people visited on day one of the show alone, a rise of 5% compared to the first day of 2009. SPE Offshore Europe also had a larger exhibition area than ever before, covering a net area of more than 25,000 square meters. There were more than 1,500 exhibiting companies and pavilions representing countries including Brazil, United States, China, Nigeria, Norway, Australia, Canada, the Netherlands, Spain, Italy, Austria, Denmark, the Faroe Islands, Germany, France, Flanders/Belgium, the Northern Territories of Australia, Finland, Greenland and Malaysia.

The free-to-attend technical conference was held under the overall theme of ‘Securing Safe, Smart, Sustainable Supply’.

SPE Offshore Europe 2011 Chairman, Samir Brikho, who is also Chief Executive Officer of AMEC plc, said: “SPE Offshore Europe was a great platform to discuss major issues, to spend quality time talking about where we are going and what the future will be. Understandably in a complex global industry there are still many uncertainties but the fundamentals of the business are here to stay. Based on what we debated and discussed in the conference sessions, it is very clear that if we want to manage supply and demand, there is no room for complacency. We need to be much more down to earth in our thinking when considering what will be the best solutions and to continue to put safety at the top of our priorities.”

Global industry trends in the spotlight
Brikho highlighted that international operating companies clearly want to continue with their global investments, and that the changing and expanding role of national oil companies in the international arena would be a major factor in the future. He also stressed the continued importance of achieving emissions reductions in the upstream sector, and that the E&P industry is now working in an increasingly diverse energy portfolio and in an increasingly complex supply chain, in co-operation with different nations.

The issue of the offshore industry’s oil spill prevention and response capabilities was also heavily featured at the show, with a major panel session dedicated to it. In addition, SPE Offshore Europe was chosen as the ideal platform for the official launch of the Oil Spill Prevention and Response Advisory Group (OSPRAG)’s high-profile well capping device; a vital piece of equipment with the capability to cap an uncontrolled sub-sea well. The 40-tonne well capping stack was unveiled by the UK Energy Minister, Charles Hendry, on the first day.

Brikho was joined at the conference by political and industry leaders including Hendry, as well as Matthias Bichsel, Projects and Technology Director at Shell; Michele della Vigna, Managing Director, Global Investment Research, Energy at Goldman Sachs; and Chris Finlayson, Executive Vice President and Managing Director, Europe and Central Asia Region, of BG Group.

Other industry VIPs participating either in conference sessions or topical lunches and breakfasts included the chairman of Schlumberger, Andrew Gould; Oil & Gas UK’s CEO, Malcolm Webb; Leo Koot, CEO of TAQA Brattani; Bob Keiller, CEO of Wood Group PSN; and Peter Mellbye, Executive Vice President of Statoil.

International delegations from countries including Brazil, Nigeria, Kazakhstan and Malaysia attended the show in Aberdeen, while major oil and gas operating companies including Shell, BP, Petrobras, ExxonMobil, Chevron, Statoil, Saudi Aramco, GDF Suez, Centrica, BG Group, DONG, Maersk, Cepsa, ENI, Petronas Carigali, Premier Oil, TAQA, Total, Addax Petroleum and INPEX also took part.

The event is organised by The Offshore Europe Partnership, a joint venture between Reed Exhibitions Ltd. and the Society of Petroleum Engineers. Exhibition Director Elaine Hulse said that they were delighted with the reaction so far: “We are very pleased with how vibrant and busy Offshore Europe was, with packed halls and stands. The show was fantastic and exceeded expectations, being nearly 10% larger than in 2009, with an excellent attendance level. The exhibition was very busy at all times, with lots of visitors on the stands and in the high-quality technical conference sessions. The level of international interest and participation, in terms of operating companies, government ministries and others, was particularly significant. There was an upbeat feel to the show throughout, both in terms of business on the UKCS and the global opportunities, and it clearly reflected the industry’s buoyant mood. We were also delighted to see 275 UK and international companies participating for the first time. The feedback from our brand new area – the Deep Water Zone – also indicates that it was a resounding success, and it once again demonstrates the oil and gas industry’s strong desire to learn about new global technologies.”

SPE President Alain Labastie commented: “I was delighted to see the enthusiasm and vast attendance at SPE Offshore Europe 2011 and it was an honour to be involved. The very high levels of activity were encouraging to see both in the conference and exhibition as the global attendees conducted business, networked and shared their ideas for the future of our industry.”

SPE Offshore Europe is held every two years in Aberdeen, Scotland. The next event will be held in the week commencing 2nd September 2013.

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