Almost 7,000 visits were made to Europe’s largest subsea event, Subsea Expo, held in Aberdeen last week, despite the industry facing its toughest year ever.

The exhibition and conference, organised by Subsea UK, attracted just under 5,000 individual delegates, many of whom visited more than once over the three days. International delegates flew in from all corners of the world, including Africa, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Nigeria and the US.

Chief executive of Subsea UK, Neil Gordon, said: “A clear message from the show was that we have to get fit for $30 oil. We cannot keep hoping that the price, and therefore investment and activity, will pick up in a year or so. Transforming the way we work is crucial. A large dose of vision and courage from the leaders in our industry is needed to achieve the behavioural changes that will ensure we are profitable and sustainable at $30. The good news is that we can do this but it’s not going to be easy. Much greater collaboration will drive standardisation and simplification which are key to getting the cost base down. The subsea sector is up for the challenge and there was real evidence of this type of collaboration in action during Subsea Expo.”

Graham Bennett, DNV GL – Oil & Gas, Vice President, Region UK & West Africa, who exhibited at the show said: “Subsea Expo has always been a key event in the industry calendar and it was hugely beneficial to be exhibiting again. Despite the tough times ahead, delegates showed a real determination and drive to find new and improved ways of working. To ride out the crisis, collaboration should be seen as more than just the latest buzzword, it really is the call to action to bring down costs and ultimately improve quality and safety for the future survival of the sector.”

The show, which is in its eleventh year, hosted several first-time exhibitors this year. They included ABB, AISUS Offshore, EC-OG, Iqarus and CENSIS.

Stuart Lawson, managing director of AISUS Offshore said: “This highly focused event has generated huge interest in our inspection technology. It’s been a great opportunity to engage with the industry to look at ways in which we can work together to satisfy the rigorous demands of the oil and gas sector in the current climate. The atmosphere was encouragingly upbeat - it was clear that there is a real determination to ride out the current crisis by focusing on delivering cost effective solutions which will bring real value to the industry.”

Mark Begbie, business development director at CENSIS, said: “This was a great event which opened up new opportunities for CENSIS, helping us to make valuable connections with a number of innovative companies.”

Tim Mitchell, CEO of Iqarus said: “Participating in Subsea Expo has been hugely beneficial to us; we’ve been able to meet with international delegates and showcase our new brand proposition. It’s shown that despite the low oil price, there is still plenty of engagement in the industry. The show provided an excellent opportunity to announce our acquisition strategy and our new environmental sciences capability.”

A number of companies launched technology at the show. Xodus unveiled its new asset lifecycle screening tool HAWXEYE at the event. Graeme Rogerson, operations director at Xodus Group said: “Subsea Expo has been the ideal venue to not only showcase our new HAWXEYE technology but also demonstrate and discuss our agile way of working in this cost-constrained climate. The mood at the show has been buoyant and very much focussed on the need to look at new ways of working to adapt to this ‘new norm’.”

The conference programme was packed with high profile industry speakers delivering leadership messages on the themes of transformation, maximising global opportunities, key projects around the world, standardisation and technology R&D. The technical sessions and technology spotlight boasted a host of insightful sessions on integrity management, pipelines, ROV inspection and field development.

Ernie Lamza, Oil & Gas Innovation Centre chief operating officer, said: “The quality of technical discussion at Subsea Expo has been exceptionally high this year. The subsea sector is clearly focussed on the strategic challenges facing exploration and production in the North Sea and internationally. Key themes at this year’s Subsea Expo have included cost reduction through technology and process enhancements, opportunities for standardisation and small pool development. Everyone we have spoken to has been interested in taking research and development projects forward within the subsea industry and there is clearly an appetite for innovation from businesses and operating companies.”

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