Offshore Europe is coming

IN THREE weeks’ time, one of the world’s largest conference and exhibitions for the energy industry will once more appear in Aberdeen.

With Offshore Europe 2015 taking over the city, the gaze of the world’s oil and gas industry will be on Aberdeen, but what will they see?

It takes place against a grey backdrop of job losses in the North-east and the “recession of confidence” that the Chamber found in its most recent survey of the oil and gas industry.

Two-thirds of North Sea oil and gas operators have been forced to cancel projects because of the fall in oil price, and confidence in the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS) is at its lowest point since the survey began.

Despite that, almost every hotel room in the city is booked out as visitors from across the globe refocus from doom and gloom to new opportunities.

We can do little about the global price of oil, but reducing the cost of production is in the hands of the industry.

It needs to innovate, collaborate and adapt to a new normal and businesses that can adapt the quickest, and most effectively, will reap the rewards.

Offshore Europe represents a timely opportunity for the North Sea-based industry to showcase its products and services to the world.

The three-day event has over 1,500 global suppliers exhibiting and sees senior decision makers debate current issues and critical future trends.

That they are still coming to Aberdeen confirms that there are still plenty of major investments which need the expertise that has been accumulated in the oil & gas capital of Europe.

It has never been more important for contractors to focus on internationalisation, to find new markets for their products and services.

We have been exporting North Sea expertise for years, but now we need to do more and encourage even more SMEs to get a slice of the cake.

The wealth of knowledge and experience gained over 50 years in the UKCS is globally recognised and the imperative to get into new markets has never been greater for the supply chain.

Once companies start to think in terms of exporting their products and services, or expanding them into more challenging markets, they rarely look back.

That is the spirit in which Offshore Europe 2015 should be approached and there will be many positive outcomes as a result.

When the eyes of the world’s oil and gas industry fall on Aberdeen, we hope that they will see us looking confidently right back at the world.