SPE Offshore Europe 2019

Overwhelming success

The oil and gas industry’s entire exploration and production supply chain was showcased at OE19, with 950 exhibitors, including 125 new names from small innovators to global service companies, on the exhibition floor

From the 3-6 September, Scotland’s brand-new, state-of-the-art events venue opened its doors to host SPE Offshore Europe for the very first time, establishing itself as the event’s new home. Aberdeen’s P&J Live opened only earlier in 2019 and its 48,000 square metres of exhibition space were ready to welcome hundreds of oil and gas companies and in excess of 38,000 attendees.

SPE Offshore Europe is recognised by professionals as the continent’s leading event in offshore E&P. Attending the exhibition brought visitors up-to-date with the most significant technologies, and enabled them to engage directly with technical experts from more than 950 suppliers. These included international market leaders, as well as new innovative technology companies presenting their effective solutions for the attendees to source and compare.

The 2019 event was hailed as a ‘great success’ by Michael Borrell, Senior VP North Sea and Russia at Total, and Chair of SPE Offshore Europe. He added: “I’m delighted that so many thousands of colleagues from across our industry attended. There’s been a really noticeable positive energy at Offshore Europe this year, in the conference presentations and on the floor of the exhibition.”

SPE Offshore Europe 2019 also featured the industry’s largest free-to-attend conference – produced in association with the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) – and this allowed visitors to expand their technical knowledge with second-to-none insight and best practices discussed at length over the four days of the event. The SPE is a renowned resource for technical knowledge related to the oil and gas E&P industry, whose members number more than 164,000 individuals from 143 countries worldwide, and whose long-standing support has defined the immense popularity Offshore Europe has enjoyed over the years. This year, the SPE Offshore Europe 2019 conference included 12 keynote sessions and 86 technical papers, attracting thousands of delegates.

Some of the major talking points at the SPE Offshore Europe Conference were artificial intelligence, energy diversification, and the transformation of the workforce. Senior international industry figures co-chaired the keynote sessions, which also included late life and decommissioning, underwater innovation, transformation technologies to lower the carbon footprint, digital security, integrated technologies, digitalisation, standardisation, and finance.

Phil Chandler, Director, Europe and Caspian events at SPE commented: “Across the conference programme we have heard that the oil and gas, and renewables sectors are developing and delivering strategies responding to key challenges in terms of not only the transition; but also, late life and decommissioning; decarbonisation; standardisation; digitisation and diversity.

“Encouraging the next generation is a crucial element of Offshore Europe and, through SPE Inspire and OPITO’s Energise Your Future programme the show has also provided vital opportunities for young people to visualise the options available to them as they consider a career in this exciting industry.”

Speaking before the conference, Michael Borrell had acknowledged the quality of the speakers that were going to be present at SPE Offshore Europe 2019. “We have a truly world-class selection of speakers at this year’s Conference,” he confirmed. “As well as leaders from the oil and gas industry such as Patrick Pouyanné, President & CEO of Total, we also have senior international figures from the climate change debate such as Christiana Figueres, former UNFCCC Executive Secretary and Convenor of Mission 2020. This will allow us to have a really highquality discussion about our license to operate and the future of energy.”

After the doors closed to the 2019 event, Michael highlighted the great debates that were had at the event ‘especially about the energy transition and our license to operate’.” I think the energy and ideas of the conference will carry on into our work in the future,” he said.

The previous edition of the event (2017) saw companies from 130 countries take part as exhibitors, of which almost 60 per cent stated their intention to return this year. The possibility of making a big impression on thousands of potential customers is clearly there, with 2017 stats showing that 72 per cent of the visitors had the ability to either initiate or influence financial transactions on behalf of their company. Countless opportunities for networking and setting up valuable business relationships were also available, and visitors were able to enjoy reaching their targeted audience and gaining exposure to the crème de la crème of the energy community.

The 2019 show saw delegates attending that represented 119 countries, with 37 nations among exhibitors on the show floor including Singapore, China, Nigeria, Guyana and Brazil. There were 14 international pavilions – including Canada, the USA, Norway, Finland, Netherlands and Italy. Some 16 per cent of visitors to the show represented independents, national and international operating companies.

Jonathan Heastie, Portfolio Director at OE organiser Reed Exhibitions Energy, Marine & Rotorcraft, said: “By bringing key governmental stakeholders, industry bodies, operators and supply chain companies of all scales together, OE provides a platform to make connections and do business which has been evidenced by the deals that have been announced here this week.

“It has been hugely encouraging that our new venue, P&J Live, has delivered a superb visitor experience and we look forward to returning in 2021.”

Exhibitors at the event were also thrilled with how the show had performed. Fraser Collis, general manager at UCS, an Ashtead Technology company and OE exhibitor, said: “There’s been a great buzz at Offshore Europe 2019 this week and as a result, we’ve seen significant interest from companies looking to learn more about our services. OE came at a great time for Underwater Cutting Solutions as we announced the company’s acquisition by Ashtead Technology at the show. Completing the deal during the show provided us with a great platform to discuss our combined capabilities as we grow our inspection, maintenance and repair, and decommissioning capabilities globally.”

Neil Slater, head of external relations at DNV GL – Oil and Gas, which launched its ‘Probabilistic Digital Twin’ concept at the show, said: “DNV GL has been a regular exhibitor at Offshore Europe since 1999 and we were excited to take part again this year – the show’s importance and relevance are undimmed.

“Given the industry’s push towards a low-carbon future, it was encouraging to see such a prominent focus on the energy transition. We are committed to leading action in this vital journey.”

SPE Offshore Europe showed some encouraging signs that the energy industry is steadily continuing to emerge from the downturn, as well as the fact that commitment to accelerating the energy transition is gathering pace, as operators and technology developers at SPE Offshore Europe 2019 said they will invest to secure a more sustainable energy mix.

The event saw the elite of offshore E&P gathering in Aberdeen – hailed as an ‘overwhelming success’ event organisers are already getting started on planning the 2021 event, which should be even bigger and better!