For the first time since before the Covid pandemic, Offshore Europe returned to Aberdeen this week to mark its 50th anniversary with delegates and exhibitors singing the praises of the industry event.
The four-day-long event held at Aberdeen’s P&J Live saw thousands coming to the north-east for the first time since 2019.
Event organisers, the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) announced that “around 30,000” people attended the event.
Ahead of the exhibition, SPE estimated “around 35,000 attendees over the four days.”
The group added: “Approximately 4,000 of these could be international – we have pre-registered attendees from countries including Western Australia, Canada, China, France, India, Norway, Nigeria and the USA.”
At the last SPE Offshore Europe, in 2019, it was reported that 38,000 people visited the P&J live for the energy industry event.
With around 30,000 attendees the show failed to reach pre-pandemic levels, however, those who were at the event were very positive, praising the show’s impact.
Energy Voice took to the show floor to ask those on the stands what they thought of the week that was Offshore Europe 2023.
Stuart Broadly, chief executive of the Energy Industries Council, said his highlight was: “Working with so many companies that, first of all, remember Offshore Europe from the last time four years ago but even more remember it 10 or 15 years ago.
“It’s good to be back to the levels of activity, optimism and buzz. Companies are now saying that they have record-breaking order books, the best-ever order books. Who thought we’d ever hear that again?”
Kamel Ben Naceur SPE Offshore Europe conference chair, 2022 SPE president and chief executive of Nomadia Energy Consulting said that the north-east of Scotland made attendees feel “welcome”.
Kamel Ben Naceur commented: “SPE Offshore Europe has become the global offshore energy event in Europe that covers all the components of the energy transition.
“The exhibition floor was full, with several areas featuring net zero themes. The speeches from both government ministers gave strong signals to the audience related to a significant increase in investment across all energy sectors in the North Sea.
“Aberdeen has once again made us feel very welcome and we are very much looking forward to Offshore Europe 2025.”
Steve Gibb who celebrated his retirement from Aberdeen’s Balmoral Group following 37 years of service, praised the event and its impact on the Granite City.
Mr Gibb said from the show floor: “First of all, it’s fantastic to have it back in Aberdeen city.
There’s been a really positive vibe around the show since it opened at 0930 on Tuesday morning.”
He went on to describe Offshore Europe 2023 as “necessary” to the north-east’s energy sector.
Steve Gibb joined Balmoral on 20 January 1986 and retired from his role as group public relations manager during the week of Offshore Europe’s 50th anniversary.
Sum up Offshore Europe in one word
While Energy Voice was on the show floor, a reporter asked exhibitors to sum up Offshore Europe 2023 in one word.
Ann Johnson from Blaze said “hopeful” while Emily Taylor from the trade body Offshore Energies UK described the show as “electric.”
The event garnered support from exhibitors and delegates as there was a “buzz” on the show floor.
Those in attendance were looking forward to seeing the event come back to the north-east with one taxi driver saying: “I wish there was an oil show every week in Aberdeen.”
Jonathan Heastie, portfolio director for energy and marine at RX and co-organiser with the SPE said on the last day of Offshore Europe 2023: “A lot has changed since the last face-to-face Offshore Europe in 2019, but the energy, excitement and enthusiasm to learn, share and move towards a new energy future was palpable on the show floor and the conference.”