Embracing change

Originally founded as Offshore Scotland in 1973, SPE Offshore Europe is considered by many professionals to be Europe’s leading exploration and production exhibition and conference


Originally founded as Offshore Scotland in 1973, SPE Offshore Europe is considered by many professionals to be Europe’s leading exploration and production exhibition and conference. Held biennially in Aberdeen, Scotland, the industry’s largest free-to-attend conference brings together technical experts from more than 1000 suppliers on the exhibition floor, putting them in contact with a network of over 50,000 attendees, representing in excess of 100 countries.

Produced in associated with the Society of Petroleum Engineers Europe, and held over four days, companies ranging from international market leaders to new innovative technology producers gather to source and compare effective solutions, and share insight and best industry practices.

At the last SPE Offshore Europe event in 2015, over 33 international pavilions and 108 countries were represented across 1542 exhibitors. Of these, it is estimated that 78 per cent of the exhibitors present used the show to generate international sales leads, while 39 per cent recorded receiving orders of between £50,000 and £10 million, a statistic that is testament to the quality of both the visitors and exhibitors that the event attracts.

This year the position of Conference Chair will be held by Catherine MacGregor, President of Schlumberger Limited’s Drilling Group. In her welcome letter, Catherine comments: “With a central theme of ‘Embracing New Realities: Reinventing our Industry’, SPE Offshore Europe 2017’s technical and keynote panel sessions, combined with business breakfasts and topical lunches, will provide a unique opportunity to debate our future and share inspirational examples that can shape the future of our industry. Building on the success of previous conferences, I am honoured to have the opportunity to chair the 2017 programme, which will no doubt be another landmark in the history of SPE Offshore Europe.”

One particular section of this year’s event that is certain to garner significant interest will be the Oil and Gas Technology Centre’s Technology Zone. Here a series of technologies used in alternative sectors will be presented with the aim of encouraging the industry to think differently about the adoption of new products. The Technology Zone will bring together start-up companies and small and medium-sized enterprises to showcase their ideas and solutions.

“Technology transferred from other industries can offer major benefits to the oil and gas industry, but this requires encouragement,” comments Gareth Rapley, SPE Offshore Europe exhibition director. “The Technology Zone will ask questions of the way the industry does things and how new technology can be used to lower costs, increase efficiency and improve recovery in this new reality for the oil and gas sector.”

Sticking close to the technology theme, Tech Trek is another new initiative being introduced at SPE Offshore Europe 2017. This will highlight exciting new technologies, products and solutions launched within the last 12 months. Exhibitors at the event are invited to submit up to three products for consideration with the final selection made at the discretion of the organisers. “One of the recurring comments from visitors has been that they would like a way to easily find new technologies and innovations among all the exhibition stands. We are launching Tech Trek to highlight these features and enable visitors to find what’s new, more easily,” Gareth added.

A highly topical area of discussion will also feature at SPE Offshore Europe 2017, where a keynote panel session on cyber and physical threats to the industry will take place. The scale and severity of such attacks on industrial cyber systems continues to grow, increasing the risk to oil and gas infrastructure, critical processes and workers’ lives. The session will look to help delegates understand the risks, manage detection of threats and defend against malicious third-party actions. The expert panel will include BBC security correspondent, journalist and author, Frank Gardner OBE.

“The cyber threat is no longer an emerging risk, rather it is one that is forcibly having a severe and hazardous impact on day-to-day operations,” said Sue Frye, Director Europe, Caspian and Sub-Saharan Africa Events for the Society of Petroleum Engineers. “Understanding and managing the risks is the responsibility of everyone in the sector, from rig workers to investors. Delegates will leave with a better understanding of the shifts in global strategic risks to oil and gas operations and the new realities, threats and vulnerabilities that companies face.”

SPE Offshore Europe 2017 will be the first edition of the event to feature a new zone dedicated to decommissioning This free-to-attend zone will feature more than 20 decommissioning technology and service providers, as well as a conference theatre programmed in association with some of the industry’s key bodies, including Decom North Sea, ITF, IMechE and SUT. Independent North Sea operator Fairfield Energy, which is in the process of decommissioning the Greater Dunlin assets, will be on hand to share details of their progress.

SPE Offshore Europe Conference and Exhibition 2017
SPE Offshore Europe Conference and Exhibition 2017 takes place from 5-8 September 2017 at the AECC (Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre)
For further information please visit: offshore-europe.co.uk