The beginning of a new year is always a busy period for us as we make the final preparations for our annual conference and exhibition, Subsea Expo. With the theme ‘Facing the Future’, our 2018 event will examine what must be done to reinvent the industry in a new reality.
Throughout 2017 there have been encouraging signs that the oil and gas market is slowly starting to recover, with news of projects at early development stage beginning to filter through. This is starting to trickle down but it will be some time before there’s cause for genuine optimism across the subsea supply chain.
Operational spend in IRM (inspection, repair and maintenance) is still a challenge as companies continue to operate within very tight budgets. It’s extremely difficult to predict when the industry will return to a more sustainable level, however the UK is in a strong position to embrace the new norm and, indeed, capitalise upon it.
To do this, we must improve efficiencies, maximise opportunities and be more open to doing things in a different way. I believe that by 2020, we will really start to feel the effects of the hard work that is being done now to ensure the UK remains competitive within the global marketplace.
At Subsea UK, we are doing everything we can to help subsea supply chain companies overcome the barriers of diversification so they can make their mark in the renewables sector. However, it’s vital that the industry pulls together to get costs down and find smarter ways of working to increase the UK’s competitiveness in a growing global industry.
With a significant number of developments launching over the next few years, and with world renowned experience in offshore oil and gas engineering which has been developed over the past decades, the UK has the skills and expertise to add real value to the offshore wind sector. However, to do this, it’s vital we build alliances, strengthen the supply chain and continue to invest in new innovative technologies.
The companies that are making huge efforts to adapt to the new reality are the ones that will reap the rewards. Firms that are listening to what their customers need, extending their global reach and diversifying into emerging markets will have a much brighter future ahead of them. There are some promising opportunities out there, but businesses also need to look further afield than the North Sea and step out of their comfort zone to get after them.
We look forward to discussing and debating these topics, amongst many others, at Subsea Expo 2018, which will be held at Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre from 7-9th February. For now, I’d like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.