Neil Saunders, senior vice president, products and projects, GE Oil & Gas Subsea Systems, said: “Growth in the subsea industry is outstripping other energy sectors and we believe this is just the beginning. Over the coming years, we expect that the subsea sector will continue expanding and, longer-term, could well be on a par with, or even exceed, traditional oil and gas production offshore.
“Events like Subsea 2013 are important in making future growth in this sector a reality.”
However, he warned the industry was in a “talent war” and that it needed to attract people from outside the industry and outside the “small pond” firms were fishing in Aberdeen. “Unfortunately demand is outstripping supply in terms of subsea engineers in oil and gas,” he said.
He said GE was trying to address the issue a number of ways – conversion programmes for engineers from “adjacent industries”, such as the defence sector, taking on former military personnel, including running a junior officer programme initially launched in the US and setting up new hubs away from Aberdeen, such as Bristol.