The mix of developments on the unique all-energy coast – multi-billion offshore wind investment, hope for nuclear and green shoots in the oil and gas industry – created the “perfect storm of activity” and major focus on the region, an industry leader said.
A record more than 1100 delegates attended the annual East of England Energy Group’s (EEEGR) two-day conference and exhibition SNS2017 Opportunities Through Energy Transition at the Norfolk Showground with more than 70 exhibition stands.
More than 90% of exhibitors have pledged to book for next year’s event and the organisers are considering ways of extending the exhibition space at the venue on March 14 and 15 2018.
Potential speakers are already being researched and booked and businesses have been pitching to secure stage presentations.
EEEGR chief executive Simon Gray said the upbeat tone of last week’s conference – which has run for more than a decade – and high attendance had encouraged unprecedented early demand for next year from exhibitors.
“We are seeing much greater positivity from the oil & gas sector, in particular in the SNS where so much is happening on the oil & gas front where EEEGR are working with the Oil and Gas Authority and Oil and gas UK on a Southern North Sea rejuvenations Special Interest Group (SIG) The SIG is examining a number of exciting opportunities in the SNS including the potential for tight (Carboniferous) gas developments.
“We also hope to be moving towards gradual progression on the nuclear front and current development in offshore wind and future proposed development presenting almost the perfect storm of activity in our region, making the East of England the most exciting energy region in the UK.”
EEEGR had experienced a surge of membership in the past month as positivity in the industry increases.
“Feeling across the sector is really encouraging and we would strongly recommend people who want to exhibit to book now. Also, we welcome contact from any company or individual seeking a stage slot to showcase projects or forecasts for activity in the SNS.”
Delegates had praised the ”warm welcome” in the east and the quality, volume and standard of production, he said.
At the conference, industry leader Deirdre Michie, chief executive of Oil & Gas UK, confirmed that the oil & gas industry was a better place for investment after it had cut costs by 45% in three years.
Reduced worker hours through collaboration and technology, including drones surveying wells, had sliced costs making the industry far more competitive and a more attractive investment prospect, she said.
Waveney MP Peter Aldous, chair of the all-party parliamentary Oil & Gas Group, said the government needed to provide a stable policy framework to help attract inward investment to realise the full potential of the SNS.
He praised the skills opportunities for young people in the East of England, that were exported around the world, highlighting EEEGR’s Skills for Energy programme, the East Coast Internship programme, the ScottishPower Renewables-sponsored MSc places at the University of East Anglia and the planned East Coast Institute of Technology for Energy Skills.
To book for SNS2018, visit www.eeegr.com/events/sns2018-the-southern-north-sea-conference-and-exhibition-1672.html