Offshore Europe To Address Next Generation of Talent, People-Related Challenges

The biennial SPE Offshore Europe Conference and Exhibition will take place in Aberdeen under the theme, “How to Inspire the Next Generation,” to attract talent into the industry. For the first time, the conference will feature papers on people-related challenges in addition to technical ones, said Charles Woodburn, conference technical chairman and chief executive officer of Expro.

To be held at the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre on 8–11 September, Offshore Europe is the largest upstream oil and gas conference outside of North America.

Technical Program

The main categories for the more than 100 technical papers to be presented during the conference are health, safety, and environment; more efficient field development; asset and well integrity; well abandonment and decommissioning; maximizing recovery; developing talent to meet demand; subsea operations; and unconventional resources.

Attendees will also have access to the Deepwater Zone, an area of the exhibition floor devoted to deepwater exploration and production and the specific challenges that operators face in the harsh environment. Exhibits and demonstrations will feature the latest technologies and updates on ongoing projects, and the Deepwater Zone Theatre will host topical presentations throughout the conference.

Keynote Sessions

On Tuesday afternoon, Brian Sullivan of the International Petroleum Industry Environmental Conservation Association (IPIECA) will moderate the conference’s first keynote session on “Balancing Security of Energy Supply, Affordability, and Environmental Risk While Meeting Demand.” The panel will examine the role of the oil and gas industry in supplying future energy needs while meeting high standards of social and environmental responsibility. Panelists will act as stakeholders and pose questions to industry members on how they will uphold these standards. The second half of the session will be held on Wednesday.

Also on Tuesday, Frano Mika, health system manager at Eni Saipem, will moderate a keynote session which will discuss health management in the industry, new technologies for remote medical treatment, management of offshore emergencies, and medical personnel roles and competencies.

Wednesday morning will start with the second half of Tuesday’s panel on meeting stakeholder expectations in the areas of social and environmental responsibility. Industry members will respond to the issues raised by stakeholders and express ways to meet social and environmental standards, and community expectations. The discussion should serve as a call to arms for the industry to reaffirm its commitment to stakeholder needs.

A panel session on “Security of Personnel and Assets” will be moderated by Jean-Louis Kibort,head of security at Total’s marketing and services segment. Panelists will debate whether the state of security offshore has improved and how operators can better protect their equipment and personnel.

On Wednesday afternoon, attendees will have a choice of two panel sessions. The first session is on safety and will be moderated by Michel Contie, vice chairman of the International Association of Oil & Gas Producers (IOGP). The panel will look into statistical trends on safety incidents, progress made by companies, and human factors, all with a goal of creating a “zero harm” industry.

The second session, titled “IT & Cyber Security,” will be moderated by Kibort. It will look at the differences between information technology and cybersecurity at a time when the industry is experiencing an increasing number of cyberattacks on its information and systems.

Thursday morning will begin with “Securing Energy Supply for Europe,” which will be moderated by Malcolm Rice-Jones, director of commercial optimization at ConocoPhillips. Speakers will discuss domestic hydrocarbon production in Europe, the challenges in supplying the continent’s future energy needs, and liquefied natural gas.

Jon Lay, manager of global emergency preparedness and response team at ExxonMobil, will moderate a panel session on oil spill response. The central theme of this afternoon session will be the work of IPIECA/IOGP’s joint industry project on spill response. Panelists will discuss a range of topics, such as the use of net environmental benefit analysis, surface and subsea applications of dispersants, and the industry’s newly developed model for tiered spill response preparedness.

Thursday afternoon’s panel session on finance will cover the challenges of funding oil and gas operations during a time of uncertain ­commodity prices. Panelists will discuss new and creative sources of financing that will ensure that enough capital is available for future oil and gas development around the world to continue. The panel will feature contributions from John Martin, senior vice president of the World Petroleum Council and a fellow of the Energy Institute.

On Friday morning, the last session of the conference, “Is the Oil and Gas Industry the Right Place to Work for in the Future?” is being organized by Sabeil Ahmed, a commercial analyst at GE Oil & Gas. Panelists will explore the obstacles to attracting and retaining talent in the oil and gas industry, such as the sometimes negative public perception of the industry and the effects of low oil prices on hiring. The panel will seek to understand how the next generation of talent and nonindustry individuals view the oil and gas business in terms of possible employment.

For more information on the conference, please go to

Offshore Europe To Address Next Generation of Talent, People-Related Challenges

Jack Betz, JPT Staff Writer

01 June 2015

Volume: 67 | Issue: 6



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