by Elaine Maslin –
After more than three years’ downturn, optimism is once again starting to enter the subsea industry. But, in a new landscape, with a competition with onshore shale and a new role for gas, what needs to be done to make sure subsea systems and technology remain to future oil and gas development?
The mission statement to this year’s Underwater Technology Conference (UTC), held in Bergen, 12-14 June, aims to address these issues with the mission statement: “Subsea – Unlocking the potential!”
Top-level keynote speakers already include Erik Sverre Jenssen, Chief Operational Officer, Lundin Norway, Torbjørn F. Folgerø, SVP & Chief digital officer, Statoil, and Karl Johnny Hersvik, Chief Excecutive Officer, Aker BP. They will be discussing key topics, such as the revitalization of the subsea markets, how deepwater subsea developments can compete with onshore shale, the role of gas, and, of course, the role of technology.
Many are indeed optimistic. With >US$70/bbl oil and significantly lower capital costs, new projects finally coming into the market, including Johan Castberg, Snorre and Troll phase III, in Norway, as well as the likes of ExxonMobil’s Liza, offshore Guyana, and BP’s Mad Dog II in the US Gulf of Mexico.
But, the focus is not just on new projects. Optimizing recovery and resource utilization will also remain key, with technology and innovation being the enablers. Digitalization, remote operations and robotics are set to play increasing roles in the industry. Retention and further development of human talent will also remain a central theme in order to ensure the continued success of the subsea sector.
Within the extensive technical conference, the key themes are: field development/system solutions; subsea completion and well maintenance; asset management/increase recovery solutions; digitalization, power, controls and umbilicals; and subsea umbilical, risers and flowlines (SURF), subsea production systems (SPS), and marine operations.
There will also be student presentations, at Master or PhD level (including 2017 graduates) in the field of subsea technology.
UTC 2018 will be the 24th Underwater Technology Conference, and 700 professionals and 40 exhibitors are expected to attend the conference, held in Bergen’s Grieghallen from 12-14 June, 2018.
Since 1980, Bergen has hosted the UTC, which is driven by the Underwater Technology Foundation (UTF) and GCE Subsea, with organizing partners SUT and SPE Bergen Section.