Inspiring the next generation


The future of the oil and gas industry will be under the spotlight at the biennial SPE Offshore Europe 2015 conference and exhibition being held in Europe’s oil capital Aberdeen from 8 -11 September

The choice of this year’s theme, inspiring the next generation, empowers the industry to address both the technical and people challenges facing the oil and gas business today to secure future success. At the heart of this is a need to attract and encourage the next generation of talent into the industry.

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 world’s largest upstream oil and gas conference and exhibition outside North America there will be a series of keynote sessions, technical sessions, topical lunches and breakfast briefings. Alongside the conference, visitors will have the opportunity to view the latest technology, product and service exhibits from the global industry. Taking over an entire hall, the dedicated Deepwater Zone will comprise its own conference and exhibition programme. And, for the first time, the event will include a series of workshops and meetings to connect entrepreneurs and investors. An ambitious ‘Inspire’ programme aimed at the younger generation will feature as well. A key message throughout will be that the industry is far from over and that it has a long and bright future, despite the current difficult market conditions.

The keynote conference programme, chaired by Michael Engell-Jensen, Executive Director of the International Association of Oil & Gas Producers (IOGP), will offer 11 sessions focusing on the basic challenge of meeting energy demand while balancing concerns over climate change, security of supply and consumer affordability. Topics to be addressed include: health; the safety and security of people and assets; well intervention; financing investments; oil spill response; and inspiring the next generation to join the industry.

Michael Engell-Jensen says: “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 technical conference programme, chaired by Charles Woodburn, Chief Executive Officer, Expro, will present more than 75 papers, demonstrating that the industry’s engineering, manufacturing and technology excellence is set to assure a long-term sustainable future. Speakers drawn from all over the world will discuss topics such as asset and well integrity, maximising economic recovery, smarter field development, pipelines and risers, subsea processing, talent development, unconventional gas development, process safety, and decommissioning.

Charles Woodburn adds: “Attending this key global conference is even more compelling given the current challenging industry backdrop. SPE Offshore Europe 2015 allows people from all parts of the industry to come together under one roof to discuss and debate the challenges we are facing today – and into the future.”

Meanwhile, on the exhibition floor, around 1500 global organisations will showcase their technologies, services and expertise. At least 300 companies, large and small, will be exhibiting for the first time at the show. 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.

Reflective of the global nature of the industry as a whole there will be a large overseas exhibitor presence with participating organisations from 44 countries and 33 international pavilions. 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.

Continuing the commercial theme, entrepreneurial visitors will have the chance to meet potential investors on Wednesday 9 September. After a morning of investment workshops presented from the operator, venture capitalist and entrepreneur perspectives, a limited number of companies will be invited to one-to-one meetings to discuss investment projects with some grant, early seed and direct industry funding providers.

Planning is also well under way on the Deepwater Zone, 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 per cent, compared to the preceding five-year period, totalling $210 billion from 2015 to 2019. A dedicated theatre will host sessions programmed by Subsea UK and the Society for Underwater Technology on topics such as deepwater developments; the future of inspection, repair and maintenance; new technologies for efficiency and effectiveness; and subsea challenges for enabling deepwater production. In the event’s largest Deepwater Zone to date, more than 30 companies from this rapidly evolving sector will display their latest products and services.

The exciting breakfast briefings and topical lunches are bound to sell out fast. Confirmed breakfast briefing speakers include Steve Varley, UK Chairman and Managing Partner, EY; Lars Christian Bachar, Executive Vice President, Development & Production International, Statoil; and international oil and energy consultant, Manouchehr Takin.

BP’s Bernard Looney, Chief Operating Officer, Production, is the confirmed lunch speaker on Tuesday 8 September. And on Thursday 10 September, the lunch session will be given over to a small operators’ panel chaired by Neil McCulloch, President, North Sea, EnQuest.

With its emphasis on recognising the longterm need for a secure talent pipeline, SPE Offshore Europe 2015 will be running ‘Inspire’, its largest ever programme of activities for a younger audience. A wide range of events and workshops throughout the week will allow students to engage with the industry face-to-face and learn more about this impressive industry.

SPE Offshore Europe 2015

Visit offshore-europe.co.uk for more information about this free-to-attend global event, and to register

Issue 124 September 2015