With over 800 exhibitors specialising in drilling and completion, health and safety, production and operations, energy transition, digital technologies and more, the 50th anniversary year of Offshore Europe promised a unique opportunity to discover the latest technologies and for its attendees to hear from the leaders of proactive energy organisations who are pioneering the energy transition. New features for Offshore Europe 2023 included the Offshore Wind Hub, Hydrogen Hub, Future Talent Theatre, Future Opportunities Theatre, Towards Net ZerOE Exhibitor Trail, the Energy Transition Theatre and the Innovative Technology Zone. Members of the Brodies' Energy, Projects and Infrastructure team attended Offshore Europe earlier this month to meet with exhibitors and attend various talks and panel sessions by industry professionals.
Energy security and energy reliability were at the forefront of the discussions at Offshore Europe, with a vast catalogue of talks and panel sessions from industry professionals offered throughout the week.
I was fortunate enough to attend one of the opening panel sessions of the week - Enabling the Energy Transition: How the natural strengths of the oil and gas industry can enable the energy industry. This session was moderated by Simon Roddy (Senior Vice President Upstream, Shell UK) and welcomed Panel Members Lauren Braidwood (Skills Project Manager, EZT Ltd), Myrtle Dawes (CEO, Net Zero Technology Centre), Stuart Payne (Chief Executive, North Sea Transition Authority) and Tim Pick (Former UK Offshore Wind Champion). This session proved to be incredibly insightful, highlighting the global Oil and Gas industry's capability to support the world's energy requirements today, and how it will assist the Energy sector as the industry transitions towards Net Zero by 2050. It was made clear by the panel that the Energy Transition must not be seen as a simple choice between oil and gas or renewables as to meet energy needs for the foreseeable future, we need both.
The 50th anniversary year of Offshore Europe nodded to the accomplishments and success of the last 50 years in the industry, with a heavy focus on plans and developments for the next 50 years.
A recurring theme throughout the sessions was that although the UK is uniquely placed to leverage the skills, relationships, infrastructure and assets from its world-renowned oil and gas industry to accelerate the development of the evolving low carbon energies sector such as CCS and offshore wind, we cannot progress in the future without an up-and-coming workforce to enable the industry to continue with its transition to decarbonisation. The panel highlighted striking figures which showed a high percentage of young people had not considered the Energy sector for their chosen career – despite the fast paced and exciting future ahead for the industry. The need for investment, both in education and training, in the next generation to educate young people about the industry and encourage them to consider the Energy sector as a career is vital for a successful transition. It was promising to hear the panel's plans for investment in young people, and to see the large turnout of young people attend the Offshore Europe Future Talent Hub and its sessions.
With the energy sector and UK Offshore Energy evolving at such a rapid pace, new technologies are vital in aiding our transition to decarbonisation. The extensive display of new technologies on offer to the industry at Offshore Europe showed a promising future for energy security and reliability, including Digital Twin technology which could revolutionise the operation, maintenance and management of any offshore assets or infrastructure.
Overall, Offshore Europe 2023 highlighted the exciting developments and opportunities ahead for Energy Transition, while providing attendees with a hopeful insight to the future of the industry.