Technology and Knowledge at Offshore Europe Provide Opportunities for International Expansion

By Graham Berry, specialist business consultant

It’s always an exciting time in Aberdeen when Offshore Europe is in town – and this year was even more so, with it being the first time the event was held at the city’s new exhibition centre, P&J Live. Word from all delegates is that the new venue and transportation links were excellent, and it really felt like it revitalised the event.

Just as the entire event had a new vigour running through it, so too did the dedicated decommissioning zone. Throughout the conference the speakers were well received, with almost everyone delivered to a full house of delegates eager to hear about the latest technical advances in the industry.

It was heartening to see developments continuing the be made in the world of well abandonment. Too often drilling rigs are used for decommissioning rather than the purpose for which they were built – but increasingly companies are mounting hydraulic workover units on platforms to do the job. Not only does this free up drilling equipment for new wells, but it is also much more cost effective.

There were also a lot of advances in subsea technologies on show, especially in the realm of computer controlled ROVs. It’s impossible for a human to reach the depths that ROVs can, and the capabilities of these machines to carry out intricate tasks is incredible. They’re becoming more and more adaptable, and the ability to control them from the surface is a real benefit.

Something else which was apparent at Offshore Europe was the level of talent and technology in the UK. This is technology that has been designed, built, tested and perfected here – and there are huge opportunities to export that knowledge, technology and expertise to overseas markets, particularly the Middle East.

The energy industry in Aberdeen and the North Sea is incredibly mature now, and a lot of the developments which are impacting the world of oil and gas today have their roots in the city. But there are always new opportunities to expand abroad and bring products to new markets. There is still a lot of potential to be capitalised upon.