The organisers of the biggest event on Aberdeen’s calendar, the biennial SPE Offshore Europe (OE) energy show, have put the visitor tally for this year’s edition at “around 30,000”.
OE returned to Aberdeen this week for the first time since before the Covid pandemic.
It marked its 50th anniversary, with delegates and exhibitors singing the praises of the four-day conference and exhibition at P&J Live.
The Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE), which organises OE, together with Reed Exhibitions, had expected around 35,000 attendees.
About 38,000 people attended the last OE in 2019.
Despite a lower total this time, those who were there were very positive.
Energy Voice, sister publication to The Press and Journal, walked the show floor to gauge the mood.
Energy Industries Council chief executive Stuart Broadley said his highlight was “working with so many companies that, first of all, remember Offshore Europe from the last time four years ago, but even more remember it 10 or 15 years ago”.
‘Optimism and buzz’
Mr Broadley added: “It’s good to be back to the levels of activity, optimism and buzz.
“Companies are saying they have record-breaking order books. Who thought we’d ever hear that again?”
OE conference chairman Kamel Ben-Naceur, of SPE, said the north-east made attendees feel welcome.
Companies are saying they have record-breaking order books. Who thought we’d ever hear that again?”
Kamel Ben-Naceur, OE conference chairman.
He added: “The exhibition floor was full, with several areas featuring net-zero themes.
“Speeches from government ministers gave strong signals to the audience related to a significant increase in investment across all energy sectors in the North Sea.
“Aberdeen has once again made us feel very welcome and we are very much looking forward to Offshore Europe 2025.”
Steve Gibb, public relations manager at Balmoral Group, was celebrating his retirement after 37 years with the Aberdeen-based engineering company.
Mr praised the OE event and its impact on the Granite City.
“It’s fantastic to have it back in Aberdeen,” he said, adding: “There’s been a really positive vibe around the show since it opened at 9.30am on Tuesday.”
He went on to describe OE 2023 as “necessary” to the north-east energy sector.
Summing up Offshore Europe in a word
An Energy Voice reporter asked exhibitors to sum up OE 2023 in one word.
Ann Johnson, co-founder and director of Laurencekirk-based Blaze Manufacturing Solutions offered “hopeful”.
Emily Taylor, of trade body Offshore Energies UK, described the show as “electric”.
Most delegates were looking forward to seeing the event come back to the north-east in two years’ time, with one taxi driver saying: “I wish there was an oil show every week in Aberdeen.”
Jonathan Heastie, portfolio director for energy and marine at Reed Exhibitions, said: “A lot has changed since the last face-to-face Offshore Europe in 2019.
“But the energy, excitement and enthusiasm to learn, share and move towards a new energy future was palpable on the show floor and during the conference.”