A short recap from the article summing up UTC 2018 – written by Elaine Maslin:
The industry is leaner, but it’s now also looking forward, taking on board themes around digitalisation, but also autonomous subsea systems and all-electric subsea systems.
These were some of the main messages from this year’s Underwater Technology Conference (UTC) 2018. The event, held in Bergen, saw nearly three days of conference presentations, information sharing and networking.
From the day zero Subsea Market Insight Day and Ice Breaker networking event, at USF Verftet, there was a buzz, with a feeling of optimism about the future of the industry after three painful years of cost cutting and business strategy reassessment.
Summarising the main themes of the conference, held in Bergen’s Grieghallen, UTC Programme Committee Chairman Jon Arve Sværen said that there seemed to be a consensus that confidence was returning to the industry. “The downturn has impacted our profitability and we need to find ways to bring that back. Some of the ways to do this have been discussed, such as collaboration, new business models, cooperation, and there’s more to be done in these areas,” he said. “The basis of this has to be to share and to work more openly. The mindset has to change to keep this moving forward.”
There also needs to be a renewed focus on innovation, he said. “A lot of people this week have talked about innovation, in a business sense and a technology sense. In a downturn like the one we have had, it’s been more cost cutting than innovation that’s been happening. So, innovation needs to be brought back to the industry, to maintain our competitiveness with other energy forms, like shale.”
One of the standout themes of UTC 2018 was digitalisation, starting with Aker BP CEO Karl Johnny Hersvik’s keynote opening speech, through to today’s Digitalisation panel session. “Digitisation is not a strategy, we have learned, it is a tool and we need to define a problem that we can solve, and solve it in pieces, pieces by piece,” said Sværen.
The event heard from senior executives from industry players including Subesa 7, TechnipFMC, OneSubsea, Aker Solutions, Oceaneering, Baker Hughes, a GE Company, DNV GL, ABB, Siemens and more, alongside operators including Equinor, Lundin, Wintershall and Woodside.