Organisers of Offshore Europe, Scotland’s largest energy exhibition and conference, are running the rule over whether it should be postponed until next year.
The SPE conference was planned to take place in September at P&J Live but it is now looking increasingly likely it will take place in February.
Reed Exbitions said the decision on whether they will postpone Offshore Europe will be announced on Wednesday.
The event website has set out details that, if postponed, there will be a digital-only event from 7-10 September this year when the live event has been due to take place and states the original SPE Offshore Europe will instead run from 1-4 February 2022.
The plan to potentially reschedule the event comes as the UK government comes under pressure to delay the lifting of lockdown due to the spread of the delta variant of the coronavirus.
A rise in cases in the North East is also causing concern that the situation is “serious and is worsening”.
The government is expected to announce on Monday whether it will remove the last of the restrictions a week later.
Reed, which has run the Offshore Europe event for several years, was planning to announce the delay next week pending any changes to Covid-19 restrictions.
Steve Gibb, PR manager for Balmoral Group, which has been an exhibitor since the first Offshore Europe event was held in 1973, said: “News that it might be delayed is not totally unexpected.
“It probably is the right decision for everyone – you really have sympathy for the companies that are involved in the exhibition such as the ones that provide the services. Ultimately, if it is postponed it will be the best decision for the exhibitors and the visitors given the travel restrictions at the moment. An exhibition is nothing without a good international audience – that is pretty important for us.
“We are really going to miss the show if it is postponed but will look forward to the rescheduled event in the new year.”
Jonathan Heastie, portfolio director – energy & marine at Reed Exhibitions said: “For the last few weeks we have been consulting with the various stakeholders in SPE Offshore Europe including the executive committee, exhibitors, visitors, international pavilions, and local and Scottish Government as to the options to deliver a safe and successful event with maximum value for the industry and the North-east of Scotland.
“One of these possibilities includes the postponement of the live event to early 2022, but we will be making a full announcement of the plans for SPE Offshore Europe on Wednesday 16th June.”
If it goes ahead, the digital-only event will be called the ‘SPE Offshore Europe Virtual Conference’ and will “gather the industry’s thought leaders for hours of insights and best practice” and feature “high-level content from renowned industry thought-leaders”.
Hari Vamadevan, regional director UK & Ireland, and senior vice president with DNV Energy Systems said: “Offshore Europe is a globally-significant event, and I don’t think anyone could argue that any postponement is anything other than the right thing to do as we continue to work our way out of the pandemic.
“Interest in a physical show will be just as strong even if the Offshore Europe exhibition does move to a later date, as it will give the entire energy industry the first real opportunity to come together in numbers and in person, since the 2019 edition.
“If there is potential for the conference part of the event to take place online, as so much already has over the past 18 months, I am sure industry players will still want to participate –businesses of all scales will want to keep the momentum going as they ramp-up their efforts in decarbonization as the world moves toward net-zero.”