Kirsty James, Strategic Business Manager for the Oil and Gas sector talks about her experience at the hottest subsea event in the industry…
It is often said that Scotland is God’s country and the beautiful weather this week in Aberdeen made it easy to understand why (of course the fact that I’m Scottish myself may have an influence on this thought process!) I had travelled up to the Granite City to attend Subsea Expo – Europe’s largest annual event wholly focused on subsea. We were there to understand the current key themes within the Oil and Gas sector and to network and promote Capita TI’s services.
With around 6000 delegates, 200 exhibitors and representation from industry giants such as Shell, BP, and GE Oil and Gas – it is easy to see why this is hailed as THE event to attend for the sector, and it certainly lived up to expectations.
In the current climate of declining oil prices, the organising committee wisely changed tack and evolved the theme of the event to focus on driving efficiency through innovation and technology. This proved a wise move and resulted in a resilient and confident mood across the entire event.
Keen to speak to as many people as possible and find out more about the world of subsea, myself and Kristine Berry-Trow (Global Sales and Marketing Director) agreed on a plan of attack. In the morning we spent our time meeting a diverse range of exhibitors and delegates, and gawped in awe at a gigantic tensioning machine from Maritime Developments (which was so big it had to be exhibited outside the arena). We also got a little bit excited over a multitude of ROV’s which Kristine pointed out were exactly the same as the underwater camera’s at the start of the film ‘Titanic’!
It was also fascinating to learn that almost half of the UK’s £9 billion subsea revenues are exports. UKTI were on hand to advise companies of the best ways to promote their expertise and skills honed in the North Sea to a global audience, and many of the people we spoke to now understand the benefits of using language services to target and engage with their new audience.
Suitably reenergised after a coffee, we then attended a series of sessions by some of the key industry players. Peter Blake from NSRI (National Subsea Research Initiative) discussed the current climate, and once again re-iterated the need for the industry to look further afield – whether that’s through the development of technology or global expansion.
It was then time for a final spot of networking, which once again proved informative, and we even managed some ‘celeb spotting’ when we bumped into Alex Salmond who was there to champion the subsea industry.
The main takeaway for me from the conference was that there really is a noticeable shift now towards an increasingly international arena. There was definitely a lot of optimism around this shift, and that in itself will ensure the longevity and success of such a crucial UK industry.