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Visitor numbers increase by 3,000 for Offshore Europe 2019

© AJLOffshore Europe postponed
Oor Wullie at the front door of Offshore Europe 2019 . Pic: Colin Rennie

More than 38,000 people visited Offshore Europe last week, an increase of 3,000 on the 2017 event.

The oil and gas industry flocked to the P&J Live in Aberdeen for the four-day show, with delegates coming from 119 countries around the world.

Attendance was up from 35,000 visitors who came to the event two years ago, however it failed to reach the lofty heights that preceded the recent oil downturn.

The figures compare to 55,000 in 2015 at the former Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre venue, and record numbers of 63,000 in 2013.

However organisers hailed the “noticeable positive energy” at this year’s event as the industry emerges from the downturn.

The energy transition took centre stage at the flagship conference, which also tackled topics including decommissioning, digitisation and attracting a more diverse workforce and the next generation.

Conference chairman Michael Borrell, senior vice president for North Sea and Russia at Total, said: “Offshore Europe 2019 has been a great success.

“I’m delighted that so many thousands of colleagues from across our industry attended. There’s been a really noticeable positive energy at Offshore Europe this year, in the conference presentations and on the floor of the exhibition.

“We’ve had some great debates about our future, especially about the energy transition and our license to operate. I think the energy and ideas of the conference will carry on into our work in the future.”

There were 950 exhibitors, including 125 new names, ranging from small innovators to global service companies.

Jim Milne, chairman and managing director of Balmoral Group, praised the new venue for this year’s showcase.

He said: “It can only do a lot of good for Aberdeen and the wider area.

“I think we should be very proud of having a facility of this size for a wee town like Aberdeen.

“There has been a second wind, there are a lot of new companies coming in. That’s always good to see new guys coming in with fire in their bellies.”

Norwegian analyst firm Rystad Energy made its move into Aberdeen earlier this year, led by senior manager Craig Jamieson who described the conference as a “tremendous success”.

He added: “From the event space at TECA which is first class, to the conversations my colleagues and I have had on the exhibition floor and our booth, we’ve seen tremendous value from the exhibit.

“We’re looking forward to continuing the discussions in the coming weeks and months.”

The development and deployment of technologies to decarbonise the industry, such as carbon capture and storage, was a prominent topic.

The industry is aiming to contribute to UK and Scottish Government ambitions of net zero emissions by 2050 and 2045 respectively.

Gareth Wynn, stakeholder and communications director at Oil and Gas UK, said there is “momentum” building in that area.

He added: “There is recognition that the industry has a role in being part of the solution in getting to net zero, but at the same time carrying on going with the delivery of the oil and gas that we all need in society.

“I think it is really important that the industry can talk positively about its future that way.

“I feel like we’ve turned a corner in getting the whole industry behind that and bringing solutions which the country needs.”

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