Offshore Europe tackles variety of topics, challenges in landmark event

Kurt Abraham, Editor-in-Chief, World Oil September 04, 2023

Celebrating its 50th anniversary edition during Sept. 5-8, SPE Offshore Europe 2023 is opening in Aberdeen, Scotland, on Tuesday with a full slate of topical discussions and technical challenges for the energy industry. Held in Aberdeen’s P&J Live venue, the event is themed, “Accelerating the transition to a better energy future.”

The Rt. Hon. Graham Stuart, UK Minister of State for Energy Security and Net Zero

Opening session highlights. The first day of SPE Offshore Europe (OE) features an address by The Rt. Hon. Graham Stuart, Minister of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, during the Opening Session of the conference. Given that Claire Coutinho, MP, was appointed Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero just four days ago, on Aug. 31, it will be interesting to see whether there is any change in the tone of UK governmental energy policy.  Coutinho was previously Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Education from Oct. 26, 2022, to Aug. 30, 2023.

Other participants in the opening session include Keynote speaker Jarand Rystad, CEO, Rystad Energy, plus Plenary panelists Chip Miller, Senior Vice President of Oilfield Services & Equipment, Baker Hughes; Gilad Myerson, Executive Chairman, Ithaca Energy; Stuart Payne, CEO, NSTA; Wallace Pescarini, President Offshore Atlantic Basin, SLB; Dr. Doris Reiter, Senior Vice President North Sea, BP; and Chris Wheaton, Managing Director, Oil & Gas, Stifel

Additional first-day sessions. In the early afternoon, the Keynote Program also features Panel Session 1: “Enabling the energy transition—How the natural strengths of the oil and gas industry can enable the energy transition.” Panelists include Simon Roddy, Senior Vice President, Upstream, Shell UK (Moderator); Lauren Braidwood, Skills Project Manager, ETZ Ltd; Myrtle Dawes, CEO, Net Zero Technoogy Center; Stuart Payne, Chief Executive, North Sea Transition Authority; and Tim Pick, Chair, Offshore Wind Growth Partnership.

Meanwhile, in the late afternoon, Panel Session 2 will be held, with the theme, “What are the regional priorities for the energy trilemma?” Panelists include Sian Lloyd Rees, UK MD, Mainstream Renewable Power (Moderator); Glenn Brown, EVP Subsurface and Portfolio, Harbour Energy; Dan Carter, President Clean Energy & Decarbonisation, Wood; Nicola Grieve, Senior Vice President, Aker Solutions; and Arne Gürtner, Senior Vice President UK & Ireland, Equinor.

Technical program. Day 1 of the technical program is featuring three Technical Sessions. Session 1 is devoted to CCS Projects. Session 2 tackles the topic of Enhancing Safety and Environmental Performances. And in the late afternoon, Session 3 looks at Subsea Deployment and Remediation. These sessions feature a wide variety of operator and equipment/service presenters.

Noteworthy topics/event features. At OE, the energy transition is playing a more prominent role than ever before, with the return of the Energy Transition Theatre and a new Energy Transition Zone, as well as net zero topics having a significant presence in the keynote and technical conference programs.

A new Offshore Wind Theatre will host discussions on the role of offshore wind in the changing energy landscape, while a Hydrogen Hub will showcase hydrogen technology and know-how “helping the acceleration to a cleaner energy future.”

A Future Opportunities Theatre will provide free learning and insight on current and upcoming opportunities in late-life and decommissioning of offshore assets, as well as emerging decarbonization activities, including deep geothermal energy and CCUS.

OE organizers say that show floor features and the conference program will also tackle the people and skills needed to work alongside the technologies to deliver the energy transition. New this year, the Future Talent Hub will look at the skills, talent and approaches needed to make sure the industry attracts, retains and develops the people who will manage everyone’s energy future.

The 2023 conference, managed by SPE, is themed, “Securing sustainable and equitable energy for the next 50 years and beyond.” In all, there are 12 strategic panel sessions and 18 technical program sessions, which will cover the four key topics of energy security, energy transition, innovative technology, and future talent. 

OE is welcoming visitors from more than 120 countries, along with well over 750 exhibitors. The level of attendance over four days will certainly be a barometer of the current health of the offshore energy industry, including oil and gas, wind, CCUS, etc. 

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