Leading speakers from global energy giants are set to tackle some of the most pressing global, technological and macro-economic questions facing the subsea industry at this year’s 25thUnderwater Technology Conference (UTC) in Bergen, Norway.
The event, under the theme ‘Subsea and Beyond – the Power to Transform’, will debate the current global challenges that will shape the future of the industry, including energy transition, the increasing role of gas and the development of ocean renewable technologies, as well as to how to make the industry attractive to next generations of talent.
Having come through the traumatic and transformative downturn revitalised, reformed and ready for a new chapter, the subsea industry is well placed to meet these challenges. But, what will the future energy mix be, when and how rapid will the change be, what will these changes mean for the subsea industry and how will they impact subsea activity?
“Technology is at the core of UTC, the world’s longest running subsea conference, but there is a bigger picture,” says Programme Committee Chairman Jon Arve Sværen. “The committee recognises that we are facing potentially challenging and changing markets. Some companies have already started to look to different markets, such as offshore wind. They’ve explored alternative strategies, introducing new business models. While this activity was driven by the downturn, we feel this is something that will continue and grow.
“Gas will play a much bigger role in the energy industry in the years to come. Offshore wind and ocean energy will also play a role in the future and they will all need support from our versatile, innovative and adaptive subsea industry towards achieving success and maturity in the total ocean space.”
Prominent speakers from companies including BP, Shell and Equinor, alongside Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg, will be among those offering their perspectives and discussing these topics at this year’s UTC, alongside the extensive parallel technical sessions, exhibition and networking opportunities.
This year’s conference will also feature speakers chosen by the UTC Youth Committee as part of the event’s drive to bridge a perceived gap between the industry and the young people who are its future. “We recognise that, as an industry, we are not sufficiently popular with young people,” says Sværen. “But, we need the best talent in the industry. Oil companies and governments are making investment decisions today that will play out for 60-70 years, including big subsea developments. Without people we cannot maintain or further develop these resources.”
“So, where are you placed in the future energy mix?” says Sværen. “What can your company do in this perspective? What are you doing to promote the industry, to attract the best talent? These are the questions you should be asking yourself. We are not going to have all the answers, but we will have these topics on the UTC agenda and we will contribute to developing philosophies and strategies to help you find the answers.”
UTC 2019 is on June 11 to 13. The event is co-hosted by the Underwater Technology Foundation (UTF) and GCE Ocean, supported by the City of Bergen, with organising partners the Society of Petroleum Engineering (SPE) and the Society of Underwater technology (SUT). To find out more about this year’s program, click https://www.utc.no/program
By Elaine Maslin