A host of major North Sea operators and contractors are set to meet with suppliers and present new project opportunities at March’s Share Fair event in Aberdeen.
Organised by trade body Offshore Energies UK (OEUK) and supported by the North Sea Transition Authority (NSTA), the annual Share Fair event sees operators present their plans for project development and procurement to the supply chain – and helps them secure vital one-to-one meetings with potential buyers.
A growing list of operators and contractors will share market intelligence and a pipeline of potential projects across the energy sector, spanning everything from oil and gas to offshore wind, hydrogen, geothermal and carbon capture and storage (CCS).
Among the companies signed up to present or offer sought-after appointments are North Sea operators BP, CNR, CNOOC, Equinor, Ithaca Energy, Spirit Energy and NEO Energy, alongside contractors such as Subsea7, TechnipFMC, Well-Safe Solutions and Wood.
A growing number of offshore wind and renewables developers will also participate this year, such as Ceraphi Geothermal Energy, Inch Cape Offshore, Orsted, and Storegga – with more expected to be confirmed in the coming weeks.
It comes amid a potentially fractious relationship with the basin’s supply chain, as recent NSTA data suggests that more than 100,000 invoices issued to UK operators in 2022 – around 25% of the total – took more than 30 days to be paid.
While the results are an improvement on the 29% in its 2021 findings, an NSTA spokesperson made clear that there is still “plenty of room for improvement.”
Early sight of projects to unlock investment
Nearly 500 delegates attended last year’s event – the first since 2018 – in which energy firms were urged to end an ‘adversarial’ relationship with suppliers.
Alongside highlighting projects, the Fair allows contract and procurement teams to update their knowledge of the expertise, technology and services offered by the UK supply chain.
Notably, suppliers are able to secure business appointments with key decision-makers in client contract purchasing teams.
And as well as presentations from operators and investors, there are also extensive opportunities for networking with industry peers and exhibition space.
Attendees are advised to secure places now, before booking for one-to-one appointments opens in late February.
Katy Heidenreich, OEUK’s supply chain and people director, said: “We have a world-class energy supply chain, but it faces serious constraints including unsustainable margins with limited profitability.
“Share Fair addresses this challenge by providing suppliers with early sight of confirmed energy projects so they can secure investment, increase capacity, and recruit the skilled people they need to capitalise on the UK pipeline of work in oil and gas plus energy transition opportunities.”
NSTA head of supply chain, Bill Cattanach, added: “I am encouraged that Share Fair 2024 has already attracted a such an impressive line-up of operators and contractors. It speaks volumes for the importance of this event as a platform for promoting lucrative, near-term tendering opportunities for a range of projects which can aid energy security and accelerate the energy transition.
“The NSTA and OEUK will be working hard to secure even more big-name participants in the coming weeks.”
The event takes place in Aberdeen’s P&J Live on March 20. More information is available via the event website.