On behalf of the Underwater Technology Conference Program Committee, our sponsors and exhibitors, it is my great pleasure and privilege to welcome all of you to UTC 2016.
Once again, we received a record number of abstracts, but what impressed the Committee was not the sheer number of submissions, but the quality of the work going on right now in the subsea industry. I have no doubt that this year’s technical program will encourage stimulating conversations and will inspire us all.
Our great industry is facing very challenging times. Three years ago, the subsea industry could not respond fast enough to quench operators’ thirst for subsea equipment in their frenetic hunt to explore increasingly complex and deeper wells. Today, the situation could not be more different. We are all shaken by the state of the international oil and gas industry – even those among us who have been in the oil patch for some time, have never seen a downturn of this magnitude.
But maybe there’s a silver lining. The crude collapse provides an incentive to take a careful look at how we operate and to find better ways to work. The theme for this year’s forum “Lean Subsea – The Way Forward” reflects the need of the entire oil and gas industry–not just subsea–to adopt a lean manufacturing mindset to continuously improve and reduce cost.
Lean is about learning and adapting in order to continuously improve productivity and become more efficient. In my opinion, lean is also about being brave and smart. And here lies the high potential for improvement, because today new technology and new business models are hugely underutilized in our industry. My hope is that the current market conditions will encourage companies to bring new technology much faster to market and that we can find business models that drive profit upward for all involved. I’m sure that there are several other interpretations of lean and I can’t wait to learn more about them during UTC 2016.
The new market reality calls for a more proactive approach to subsea exploration: One that aggressively drives costs down and that puts subsea development into the profitable zone once again. A leaner subsea industry is truly the only way forward. Our industry is ready for a change and is eager to take the necessary measures to emerge leaner, stronger and with a more efficient cost base.
We all have a part to play in this transformation and it is now our time to take the lead and push the lean agenda forward.
I look forward to seeing you in Bergen!
Nils Arne Sølvik
Vice President, Processing Systems, OneSubsea