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Positivity flows from OE17: Long-game focus helps re-build confidence

The energy industry is embracing the new realities it faces in the age of a lower-for-longer oil price and rising costs, according to representatives of every facet of the sector attending SPE Offshore Europe 2017.

More than 35,000 people attended SPE Offshore Europe 2017, held at Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre, Aberdeen, Scotland from September 5-8.

Chaired by Catherine MacGregor, president of Schlumberger’s drilling group, the show featured presentations from leading figures in the industry including BP CEO Bob Dudley; Royal Dutch Shell CEO Ben Van Beurden; Petrobras’ chief exploration and production officer Solange Guedes; Wood Group CEO Robin Watson; and Andrew Jones MP, Exchequer Secretary to the UK Treasury; among 11 keynote panel sessions, dozens of technical presentations, business breakfasts and topical lunches.

With nearly 200 new exhibitors included on the show floor, and a total of 44 countries represented by those exhibiting, SPE Offshore Europe attracted delegates from 100 countries.

Conference chair, Catherine MacGregor, said: "It has been a great week. I was particularly pleased with the quality of the panel sessions, lunches, breakfasts and technical programme with excellent speakers and good level of discussions. I think we managed to create a bit of a buzz which was one of our objectives!"

Gareth Rapley, exhibition director of SPE Offshore Europe, says the commitment made by organisations of all sizes to the show for this and future years is a clear sign the event remains vitally important as a forum for collaboration, debate and business development.

“The positive atmosphere we’ve seen across the show is set against a backdrop of new companies, technologies and developments emerging and moving forward in the UKCS,” said Mr Rapley.

“Operators and companies at every level of the supply chain have continued to make a significant investment in SPE Offshore Europe in what have been very challenging times and, as we look ahead, there is clear demand for us to return to Aberdeen in 2019.

“Numbers attending the show have exceeded our expectations, and re-bookings for space at the next edition of SPE Offshore Europe are already ahead of where we were on the last day of the event in 2015, which shows the confidence the industry continues to have in itself, the show, and the city.

“We want to thank everyone connected with the show – the staff at Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre, Police Scotland, our transport partners, suppliers, our exhibitors and delegates, as well as the people of Aberdeen who welcome us, for everything they do to make the event such a great success.”

David Rodger, external relations advisor, Shell UK, said: "It has been a great show, lots of people coming to the Shell stand, lots of opportunity for us to share what we are doing in the offshore business but also in our wider initiatives including the Shell Eco Marathon and our work with Make the Future. For us it has been a great exhibition and very much a window for the world for the oil and gas industry.”

Recognising the rapidly expanding decommissioning sector, SPE Offshore Europe devoted one of its six halls to the discipline, with a themed exhibition and dedicated conference space.

Decommissioning technology and service providers, and a conference programme organised in association with key industry associations including Decom North Sea, ITF, SUT and IMechE were a significant draw for delegates.

Ray Grant, environmental director, John Lawrie Group said: "This is our first year exhibiting at SPE Offshore Europe and that is down to the addition of the Decom Zone. Decommissioning is our focus and to have an area where we can speak to like-minded individuals has made a real difference. We've had a very positive week."

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