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UTC2021 Daily News Bulletin Day 2 June 17

And that’s a wrap! UTC 2021 is now complete

It’s been an extremely busy two days with a lot of information, discussion and debate to take in. We’ve had more than 800 participants, from 22 countries taking part in nearly 50 sessions, from the Plenary session to the Market Insight and our signature Parallel sessions. We’ve heard more about the role of subsea in the energy transition; the opportunities and the challenges. We hope it has been valuable to you, your business or organization.

Meanwhile, here are some of our Day 2 highlights. Don’t forget, you can dip back to watch any sessions you may have missed in over the next 20 days!

UTC Award
Congratulations to ABB, the winner of this year’s UTC Award for its break-through subsea power system, able to distribute up to 100 MW of electricity over long distances and in ultra-deep water. The technology unlocks the ability to move entire process systems to the seabed, lowering emissions, reducing environmental impact, enabling greater digitalisation and integration with renewable energy generation and improving recovery rates. Unsurprisingly, electrification was a common theme throughout UTC 2021, so it is a doubly apt award. Read more here.

Congratulations also to the GCE Ocean Technology Cluster Company of the Year 2021; Aanderaa Data Instruments!

A positive outlook for the NCS
The tax package to support Norway’s oil and gas industry as Covid hit looks set to yield “a wave of developments and projects” adding up to investment worth NOK350-400 billion (US$41-47 billion) and equivalent to one and a half the size of the Johan Sverdrup field, Kalmar Ildstad, Norwegian Petroleum Directorate, Director of License management, told us this morning. Subsea will play a significant role in that, he says, as most undeveloped discoveries are within 40km of existing hosts and expected to be subsea developments. Read more here.

Subsea solutions leading the crossover to low carbon
Companies are already making significant moves into the low carbon value chain, this morning’s sessions heard. Ragnhild Katteland, CEO of Nexans Norway, gave a great example of a company that cut its teeth in oil and gas and has applied its learnings to renewables, as well as setting a target to be carbon neutral as a business by 2030. We also heard how TechnipFMC is decarbonising its business, including vessels, as well as offering low-carbon solutions, such as floating offshore wind combined with hydrogen and wave power. TechnipFMC is targeting a 50% reduction in emissions by 2030. By the end of 2019, the company had achieved a 27% reduction in Scope 1 and 2 emissions, with a further 9% reduction last year. Its manufacturing facility in Dunfermline Scotland, is powered by wind while its facilities in Brazil are powered by hydro (100% in Macae and 90% in Rio). It’s also moving to hybrid power systems including batteries on its dive support vessels. Read more from Jon on TechnipFMC’s carbon reduction journey here.

OneSubsea’s Mads Hjelmeland showed how there is already a strong track record in subsea processing and how it can offer tangible value, in terms of cost, efficiency and emissions savings, compared with traditional topside solutions. Going right back to Lufeng in the South China Sea in 1997 through to the Greater Enfield subsea development in Australia and Vigdis in Norway, where subsea boosting is providing a brownfield solution, he gave some great examples of what can be achieved. The next step is Ormen Lange subsea compression. The project completely removes the need for building an offshore platform and will be a major milestone for all of us in the industry, he says. Read more here.

Per Erik Holsten, Head of Northern Europe for ABB´s Energy Industries business and Managing Director for ABB in Norway, reflected on how much the industry’s goals have changed since Statoil, at the time, set its slogan for “longer, deeper and colder” in 2012, as part of its pathway to the subsea factory, sparking the Subsea Power JIP. Today, subsea power is a reality and it’s also an enabler for today’s low emissions goals. It’s “leaner, smarter and more sustainable”, he says.

However, there’s still scope for radical innovation, said Stein Olav Drange, VP Technology Management, Equinor, who set out the technology challenges and enablers he sees for future subsea field developments. There are many, from subsea tiebacks to maintaining existing fields, through to reducing the cost of CCS and offshore wind. Robotics – subsea, surface and air – will be enablers, reducing capex and opex costs, he says, alongside digitalisation and standardisation. Innovation needs to be an integrated part of how we work, he says. “To achieve what we have to deliver on, to get profitable field developments in the future, a lot of new work is going on. However, radical innovation is needed.”

We need to move faster
We need to move faster, was a key theme for our panel debate, both to meet climate targets, but also to attract talent to the industry. There’s no new scenario that’s less aggressive than the previous one, pointed out moderator Fredrik Ellekjær, from Rystad. Much of the technology is in place – it needs to be adopted and rolled out faster, said Per Erik Holsten, ABB.

With calls for lower emission barrels needing to be given preference as part of our decarbonization, do we also need to think differently about what we produce, Per Gerhard Grini, Equinor Technology, Digital & Innovation said. Older fields are very energy intensive, with higher water volumes and lower pressure. We’re very proud of our high recovery rates on the NCS, he says, but should we now focus on the lower-emission barrels, which we can get from subsea tiebacks?

There’s also still space for more radical innovation, he says, such as gas to pipe technology that can condition the gas subsea then export it directly through a hot tap into an export pipeline, or even using autonomous subsea vehicles to transport liquids from remote wells. Whichever way you look at it, there are many challenges, making it a “golden era for engineers”, says debate moderator Geir Egil Eie from DNV. But, still, like others, his view is that we’re not moving fast enough.

In closing
Owe Hagesæther, CEO of co-organiser GCE Ocean Technology and UTF board member:

“On behalf of UTC’s main organisers, the Underwater Technology Foundation and GCE Ocean Technology, I want to thank you for attending this year’s UTC 2021. Thank you also to our partners the Society of Petroleum Engineers and the Forening for fjernstyrt undervannsteknologi (Association for Remote-Controlled Underwater Technology). – Owe Hagesæther, CEO of co-organiser GCE Ocean Technology and UTF board member.

“The main goal of UTC this year was to be an enabler for a low carbon future through an outlook of the energy transition, including political issues and industrial and technical perspectives and how we can all shape this future together. This is a huge challenge but by being prepared we as an industry will remain strong. Our long-term goal at UTC is to present and share knowledge to share innovation and industrial development. We hope you have all had two inspiration days with us at UTC 2021. We look forward to seeing you again next year.”

Benedicte Nordang, UTC programme committee chair:

“On behalf of the UTC programme committee, the Underwater Technology Foundation, GCE Ocean Technology, our partners, exhibitors and sponsors, I want to thank all the presenters, the debate participants and the moderators, well done. A special thanks to Wendy and Kristin who have effectively guided us through these two days. And a thank you for our technical organisers, Apriil, who have supplied us with a flawless digital arrangement of the conference.”

“I will continue to reflect on the valuable insights our keynotes gave us on the long-term perspectives for the energy markets and our transition journey, how subsea technology and competence can be a game changer in the energy transition and not least the strong message of specific expectations to us as a major stakeholder to take up responsibility in the energy transition with our technology and competence. Thank you all for your participation and engagement. I hope we will all be able to meet at next year’s UTC2022 in Bergen.”

Next year’s conference is scheduled for June 13 – 16. We hope to be back at the Grieghallen,  in Bergen!