Subsea Expo 2018 – Looking to the Future
With this year’s theme 'Facing the Future', 2018’s Subsea Expo at the AECC between 7-9 February was about looking forward and focusing on changing our mind-sets to prepare us for this new chapter in the Oil and Gas Industry. We noticed an increase in positivity and an element of confidence returning to the market - which has been noticeably absent in recent years.
With 150 exhibitors and approximately 5,000 attendees, Subsea Expo is the largest Subsea focused event in Europe. We attended the Plenary Sessions on the opening morning and heard from Andrew Reid, CEO of Westwood Global Energy, who discussed how Subsea will see recovery in 2018, but that it will still be a tough year for many organisations. As oil prices recover (predicted to range between $50-$60 over the next 12–18 months) investments are increasing, but whilst we’re seeing an increase in activity and new orders set to be taken through 2018, this will not materialise for the sector until 2019 at the earliest.
Neil Gordon, Chief Executive of Subsea UK, went on to state that the number of people employed within the Subsea Sector has decreased from 53,000 to 45,000 since the decline in oil prices, so one of the challenges the Industry will face moving forwards is having the right number of people with the relevant skillsets and knowledge.
There’s no denying that the industry has faced significant changes and challenges since oil prices dropped back in 2014. There have been numerous job losses and Mike Backus, VP Operations of Nexen Petroleum, credited those in the industry for rallying around and uniting in the face of difficulties.
Mike started his presentation with the popular Einstein quote "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”, so we need to ensure that we take the lessons that we’ve learned through the economic downturn and learn lessons that will improve the resilience of the industry and those operating within it.