Plant & Works Engineering
Inspired to meet future challenges
Published:  13 August, 2015

As SPE Offshore Europe 2015 prepares to open its doors in Aberdeen from 8-11 September, the oil and gas industry can look forward to debating both the technical and people challenges facing the business today. PWE reports.

The choice of this year’s theme, inspiring the next generation, will focus attention on the need to attract and encourage the next generation of talent into the industry.

Despite the current difficult market conditions, 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 demand 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.

The keynote programme will feature 11 sessions dealing with important elements of the framework within which the industry is likely to have to operate for at least the next five years. It will focus 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. Speakers will comprise a mix of senior representatives from international operating companies and contractors, as well as trade association representatives, government regulators and academia.

Michael Engell-Jensen, Keynote Chairman of SPE Offshore Europe 2015 and Executive Director of the International Association of Oil & Gas Producers, comments: “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 development of technology to access resources from increasingly challenging locations and reservoirs is also fundamental to the future of the industry and forms another strand of the event’s focus on inspiring the next generation. More than 75 technical papers will be presented over the four days, including 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.

Technical chairman of SPE Offshore Europe and chief executive officer of Expro, Charles Woodburn, adds: “Whilst we continue to push the boundaries of technology and innovation, we must find better ways to attract and encourage the next generation of talent into our industry.

“For the first time we are including papers based on both people and technical challenges, to address both aspects in parallel. By embedding this approach within the fabric of SPE Offshore Europe 2015, we will deliver a conference that ensures continued progress within our industry.”

Frano Mika, health system manager for Saipem and chair of a keynote session on health, sees the event as a forum where the future – for both individuals and the industry as a whole – can be created through shared experiences, collaborative working, and lively discussion. He explains: “Respect for each other’s opinions and solutions, however different from our own, is what helps the dialogue and facilitates progress.”

Meanwhile, on the exhibition floor, a diverse range of exploration and production companies from around the world will showcase their technologies, services and expertise. Around 1500 organisations are expected this year, including at least 300 companies, large and small, 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.

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