This year saw the return of Aberdeen’s flagship energy show, Offshore Europe, after four years away and there was a lot to consider when putting together the 50th-anniversary event.
Having to delay the event during the COVID-19 pandemic created an upset for Offshore Europe’s organisers.
“I get out of bed every day as do my team, as do the SPE team as well, in order to deliver this” explained Jonathan Heastie, portfolio director for energy and marine at RX, co-organisers of Offshore Europe with the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE).
“To be able to then put that on was absolutely magical, it’s what makes my world rock to see everything coming together,” He explained.
Shortly after the doors closed on the final day of Offshore Europe at Aberdeen’s P&J Live, SPE announced that “around 30,000” people attended the event.
The event garnered support from exhibitors and delegates as there was a “buzz” on the show floor, Energy Voice reported in September.
“The feedback that we’ve had is that that the industry, the UK industry, the European industry, particularly that the west coast and Aberdeen have really missed a show of this scale and size,” said the RX portfolio director.
He added: “There have been lots of events running in our industry all around the country and certainly in Aberdeen at the wonderful P&J live.
“But there isn’t anything of the scale and stature of Offshore Europe.”
The RX and SPE organised event runs every two years in the Granite City, however, Offshore Europe missed its scheduled 2021 return following its 2019 incarnation as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The good part of the delay, if there is any good part to the delay, is that it allowed us to plug into the changing market. There’s a lot of dynamism in energy and it allowed us to make sure that we were reflecting the change,” Mr Heastie says.
Getting the ball rolling for Offshore Europe 2025
Now that Offshore Europe has returned, and in time for the 50th anniversary of the show, attention turns to the 2025 iteration of the event and what the future holds for both it and the industry as a whole.
Plans are taking shape and Offshore Europe’s organisers look to apply the lessons learned from this year’s event and take forward the opinions from the show floor.
“We did a really big survey on site,” Jonathan Heastie said, “We used a third-party research agency that we work with to come in and interview visitors and exhibitors across the show.”
He added: “We interviewed 1700 plus people, which is a sizeable number for any sort of survey.”
The findings of this survey were largely positive with those being interviewed saying the show met what they were looking for. However, for the next outing, there is a demand for more representation of hydrogen, geothermal and carbon capture on the show floor.
The RX team is using this and is looking into providing more “examples of the technologies, the approaches, the business models, the investment models that you might need to bolt carbon capture onto blue hydrogen or whatever it may be” for Offshore Europe 2025.
Possible additions to the show floor
Mr Heastie added: “There’s plans to do more of that, probably in our transition theatre but you never know we may well end up creating another education hub around CCS.
“They also want more geothermal. We did a bit of geothermal on the floor, but there’s certainly a lot of the drilling contractors and engineering firms that are experts in drilling, see deep geothermal as an opportunity, perhaps not in the UK, but they’d like to use their expertise. So, I’ve got to try and bring some more geothermal developers in from Europe to come and tap into the brilliance and the knowledge in Aberdeen.”
In the next few months, Jonathan Heastie will also be looking into energy storage and how it relates to the electrification of offshore oil and gas assets as well.
There was a demand from attendees for more representation of batteries that can be used to electrify assets when power from offshore wind is not available.
Off the back of these findings, Mr Heastie said: “I think we’ll have a battery showcase of some kind or an energy storage showcase that goes beyond the hydrogen storage piece.”
For those looking to attend Offshore Europe 2025, there will be more representation of the areas mentioned but there will also be “more kit on the floor” as there has also been a demand for more technology, particularly relating to hydrogen, at the show.