2019 SPE Offshore Europe Explores the Industry’s License To Operate

The biennial SPE Offshore Europe conference will explore a diverse set of topics, including the application of digital technologies and preparing for a low-carbon energy future and ongoing work around standardization and decommissioning.

Image of a panel session from last Offshore Europe Conference

In-depth, multidisciplinary ­discussion on a continually shifting offshore oil and gas industry landscape will take place at SPE Offshore Europe 2019. The event, headlined by the theme “Breakthrough to Excellence—Our License To Operate,” will be held 3–6 September in Aberdeen at the P&J Live events venue.

Attendees will have the opportunity to explore a diverse set of topics including the application of digital technologies and preparing for a low-carbon energy future and ongoing work around standardization and decommissioning. And, thanks to a new partnership with a prominent London-based financial newspaper, finance and investment also will receive more attention during the proceedings.

Delegates will be welcomed Tuesday morning by SPE President Sami Alnuaim, who is a more than 30-year veteran of Saudi Aramco, and Michael Borrell, conference chair and Total senior vice president, North Sea and Russia.

Patrick Pouyanné, Total president and chief executive officer, will then deliver an executive keynote address, which will be followed by an opening plenary panel where executives from some of Europe’s largest operators and service companies will be joined by an internationally recognized leader on global climate change. The panel will consist of

  • Bernard Looney, BP chief executive, upstream
  • Wael Sawan, Shell upstream director
  • Karl Johnny Hersvik, Aker BP chief executive officer
  • Doug Pferdehirt, TechnipFMC chief executive officer
  • Hinda Gharbi, Schlumberger executive vice president, reservoir and infrastructure
  • Christiana Figueres, former executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and currently convener of Mission 2020, a global initiative focused on slashing greenhouse gas emissions.

“We have a truly world-class selection of speakers at this year’s Offshore Europe conference,” said Borrell. “As well as leaders from the oil and gas industry such as Patrick Pouyanné, we also have senior international figures from the climate change debate such as Christiana Figueres. This will allow us to have a really high-quality discussion about our license to operate and the future of energy.”
The SPE Offshore Europe 2019 technical committee has selected more than 80 papers that will be presented in 15 technical sessions. Those sessions will examine topics such as data and reservoir analytics, subsea solutions, field development, flow assurance, process safety management, and decarbonization.

Other senior global representatives from operators, service firms, technology companies, industry organizations, consultancies, and academia will convene during 12 keynote sessions over the 4-day conference. Additional topics to be covered include artificial intelligence; automation; digital security; underwater innovation; and, as the industry looks ahead to 2035 and beyond, a deep dive into how those new technologies and the energy transition are transforming professional roles in the oil and gas industry.

FT Forum, Zones Added

Launched this year, SPE Offshore Europe and the Financial Times will hold the FT Oil & Gas Finance and Investment Forum, a day-long event with the theme, “Securing the Future in a Rapidly Evolving Energy Landscape.”

Those entrenched in the commodities, finance, and investment spaces will assess future volatility associated with crude oil prices; investigate how, where, and from whom funding will be obtained; and look at the new players and strategies propelling a rebound in the North Sea. The Wednesday event will close with perspective from a panel of chief financial officers hailing from BP, Lundin Petroleum, Baker Hughes, and TechnipFMC.

Organizers are also introducing two new zones to SPE Offshore Europe 2019 dedicated to technology and services.

Following the successful 2018 launch of the SPE ENGenious Symposium and Exhibition centered on the upstream digital transformation, an ENGenious Zone has been added to the event. Tying in with this year’s focus on data analytics, machine learning, and artificial intelligence, ENGenious at Offshore Europe will provide digital companies with a platform to demonstrate their capabilities before ENGenious returns in 2020.

The second new zone, StartUp Village, will be run by the Oil and Gas Technology Centre and social enterprise Elevator. It will allow new startup firms from both the UK and abroad to showcase their latest technologies, products, and solutions.

Unveiled during the 2017 Offshore Europe, this year’s event will again feature an expanded Decommissioning Zone encompassing late-life operations, with contributions from technology service providers and the addition of a conference theater program. The zone will bring together more than 11,000 technical, business, and government professionals.

Before everything begins, how­ever, organizers will host Tuesday morning’s biennial business breakfast, which will maintain the theme of operational excellence by highlighting innovative new technologies that are improving offshore work. Speakers will be Paul Bogenrieder, EY economist and energy futurist; Remi Eriksen, DNV GL group president and chief executive officer; and Neil Saunders, Baker Hughes president and chief executive officer, oil-field equipment.

For more on SPE Offshore Europe 2019, visit