Topsides UK 2022

Early November saw the return of the first non-virtual Topsides UK conference since 2019.

In-person events have been a rarity until recent times as we emerged from the COVID pandemic. Thank goodness!

Everyone has been overcome by online fatigue so the opportunity to shake a hand instead of a thumbs up on a screen or an elbow pump or wink from behind a face mask was a pleasure and will never be taken for granted again!

The theme of the Topsides UK 2022 conference was Maintaining Security and Affordability of Supply Whilst Embracing Accelerated Energy Transition. PIM had a strong presence being an event sponsor, exhibiting and also presenting. The topic of the PIM presentation presented by Willie Tulloch was Energy Transition: Can We Stop History Repeating itself?

Day one of the conference was focused on emissions reduction. Brenda Wylie of the NSTA opened proceedings by sharing the regulatory framework we are working within to align with the Net Zero objectives. Oil and Gas remains an important part of the mix but the measures the industry needs to take to reduce the impact on the environment are challenging but obligatory as clearly stated. Operators and supply chain companies also shared interesting and informative presentations sharing insights and case studies of the work being done to embrace the complexities of energy transition.

Willie’s presentation provided a perspective on the current energy transition looking back at history and offering the opinion that renewables may offer a solution to energy security as well as benefiting the environment. Intending to provoke debate and discussion, ahead of the event Willie thought the subject may be seen as controversial in this setting. However, it was very encouraging to see how far the industry has moved in a very short period of time.

Day two of the conference focused more on people and skills agenda, energy security and oil and gas technologies. A highlight of the day was the representation of the young professionals. It was really encouraging to hear their enthusiasm for choosing a career in oil and gas and the wider energy transition. One of the greatest barriers to achieving the aspirations of energy transition and Net Zero is attracting more like-minded young engineers.

There is no doubt the social licence to produce oil and gas has all but been lost. However, in every model oil and gas is a core part of the mix. Until a time where there are balanced and reasoned arguments presented on how we source our energy needs sustainably we will continue to expend more energy convincing the public, politicians, and the media why we need oil and gas than actually engineering the solutions for our future energy needs.