Increasing relevance in tougher times
”The number one meeting place” for the subsea industry is becoming an even more important forum in times of an increasing focus on cost reductions and standardization.
”The oil industry, and in particular the subsea industry, is experiencing an ever increasing focus on costs. As a result of this, a number of the larger companies sent fewer delegates to this year’s Underwater Technology Conference (UTC). These places were, however, filled by participants from smaller companies,” says Jarle Daae, chairman of The Underwater Technology Foundation (UTF).
This year’s conference was the 20th in line. UTF, who is the host of the event, can look back at yet another success. The number of participants remains fairly stable. This year, 960 participants attended the event, against 1,050 participants last year, which gives a decrease of nine percent. The number of international participants, however, was at the same level as in 2013.
”If we consider the current focus on costs, the support for the conference is fantastic,” says Daae, who believes that UTC is actually increasing its relevance as an important meeting place in slightly more difficult times.
”It is important to have an arena where the industry can get together and discuss challenges and find solutions for the future. In this respect, UTC holds a central position, which in our experience only becomes stronger in times like these,” says Daae.
The professional content at the conference is always very well received, and this year makes no exception. Under the title ”Subsea facing new realities. Market and technology complexity, inspiring industry collaboration”, this year’s conference focused on the need for increased cooperation within the industry. More than 70% of the participants said that they were very satisfied with the professional content of the event.
”This shows that we remain relevant, something that we work to achieve every year. The Program Committee for UTC 2015 has been strengthened, and now consists of 25 leading companies within the subsea industry. Our ambition is to create the best subsea conference in the world when it comes to technical and professional content. In that respect we will be the best,” says Daae.
The acid test of a successful UTC for conference moderator Simon Davies is whether or not he has learned something new.
“UTC is a technical conference with a focus on professional content. To me, the acid test of a successful conference is whether or not I have learned something new. And I have this year as well,” says Davies, who has over 30 years’ experience from the sector and currently works as Strategic Project Manager at Statoil.
“I found the panel discussions both open and honest, and the talks I attended held a very high standard,” he says.
Has built a foundation
Roald Sirevaag, chairman of the Program Committee, can report a good atmosphere during the UTC, both between the various operators and suppliers and also across, and between, the various competitors.
“Although no breakthrough was made in terms of standardisation, I believe we created an atmosphere in which people recognised this as an important measure. Much is still missing, but I believe a few steps have been taken and a foundation has been built for further development in this area,” says Sirevaag.
One of these steps is Statoil’s decision to make its catalogue available to other operators entering the Norwegian Continental Shelf, to help these avoid doing the same mistakes as Statoil has done.
“It is all about ensuring that knowledge is shared across companies,” says Sirevaag.
“We got to hear Chevron’s views on the world, and how things are seen from a Gulf of Mexico-perspective. Furthermore, we got to hear about Wintershall, which is rapidly establishing itself on the Norwegian Continental Shelf and sees a large potential in this area,” says Sirevaag, who is pleased with the execution of this year’s conference.
The efforts to make UTC an even better conference will continue. “We will focus even more on the international market and encourage more participation from abroad. To achieve this, more topics that are internationally relevant will be put on the agenda next year,” says Sirevaag.
Next year’s conference will take place from (16)17 – 18 June. Abstracts are due December 19th. Invitations will be distributed in October.
UTC 2014 Facts
- 960 attendees (828 to the conference)
- 26% international delegates
- Delegates from 22 countries
- 69 exhibiting companies
Download the entire report, with figures and attendee profile: UTC2014 Post event report