Offshore Europe 2013

03 September 2013

ERM fulfilled various advisory roles at this year’s Offshore Europe conference in Aberdeen, chairing the conference HSE Technical Committee, serving on the Environment Programme Committee and chairing the Health & Safety Technical Session. Here are some of the key industry messages which the ERM team took away from the event:

  • Safety remains paramount  in the UKCS;
  • 2013 has seen record North Sea investment of £13.5Bn, attributed in part to the need for increased spending to keep infrastructure operating safely. Looking ahead, oil and gas will remain major elements in the UK’s energy mix, meeting up to 70% of our energy needs even out to the 2030’s;
  • Renewed optimism is accelerating the pace of change:
    • Half as much oil and gas remains to be produced as has been produced to date;
    • Independent oil and gas companies are increasing their stake although their ability to access capital is still challenging
    • Decommissioning Relief Deeds, a world first, are bringing greater clarity to the tax treatment of decommissioning costs, helping operators to extend field life and encouraging asset transactions.
  • Ageing infrastructure is leading to the requirement for more safety critical review work as assets exceed their original design life ;
  • Gas is now firmly positioned as the major energy source for the next 30+ years. There are an increasing number of major capital projects around capacity and infrastructure;
  • Operators will need to revise their Safety Cases in preparation for the  Offshore Safety Directive, addressing the requirement for a more integrated approach between preventative safety and emergency response measures. 

Subsea technology is moving ahead rapidly, enabling an increasing range of subsea operations and bringing previously inaccessible reserves into play. This progress throws up new requirements for oil spill modelling, preparedness and response.

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