Registration has opened for Subsea Expo, Europe’s largest annual subsea conference and exhibition, which takes place at the Aberdeen Exhibition & Conference Centre from the 11th to the 13th of February 2015.
The flagship event, organised by industry body Subsea UK, is expected to attract over 6,000 delegates and almost 200 exhibitors, making it the second biggest event in Aberdeen.
This biggest ever attendance is anticipated despite the current challenges facing the industry due to the sharp drop in oil prices.
Neil Gordon, chief executive of Subsea UK, said: “There is much speculation on how much deeper and longer this dip in oil price will go. In recent years, we have seen the cost of production per barrel rise from 20% to 60%. The drop in commodity price coupled with these spiralling costs, is impacting on projects globally and we are in for challenging times with the supply chain under growing pressure to reduce costs.”
Gordon believes the Chancellor has gone some way to easing the situation in the North Sea and helping improve the competitiveness and therefore attractiveness of the province, but says his budget statement did not contain the radical overhaul of the fiscal regime many had hoped for. “The industry still requires further reductions in the overall tax rate and more measures to increase exploration activity,” he said. “Against this backdrop, the subsea sector performed reasonably well in 2014, but we are well aware of the challenges ahead and Subsea Expo will allow the industry to discuss these in some depth.”
The main topics to be explored at the event are maximising global opportunities, key projects around the world, the marine renewables market, standardisation and optimisation, pipelines, ROV and inspection and technology and R&D.
“These are the main areas of focus for the subsea sector in the next few years,” said Gordon. “In our plenary session, we will be looking at the current and future challenges with senior industry leaders from companies such as Apache North Sea, EnQuest, Subsea 7 and Proserv. With intensified scrutiny on cost and value, standardisation and production optimisation become big ticket agenda items and we will be looking at how our companies are approaching these areas and how they can capitalise on global opportunities.”
The Subsea Business Activity Report in 2013, revealed that the industry generated around £9 billion in revenues and supported 60,000 jobs across the country with the centre of excellence in Aberdeen supported by growing clusters of subsea businesses in the Scottish central belt, the North-east, North-west and South-east of England. Almost 50% of UK subsea output is exported and the UK boasts 45% of global marketshare.
“The UK subsea supply chain is not just dependent on the North Sea. Most subsea companies are operating globally, particularly in emerging and deepwater regions such as Australia, Brazil and West Africa. While this means that risk is more effectively spread, there will still be significant challenges ahead and those companies which can best demonstrate innovation and added-value alongside cost-efficiencies will be well-placed to weather the storm.”
The Subsea UK Business Awards will be presented at a gala dinner, on the evening of the opening day of Subsea Expo.