Devex 2013 Chairman's Report

DEVEX 2013 Chairman's Report

A record number of exhibitors participated in DEVEX 2013 which may demonstrate the rise in activity in the North Sea.

Now in its 10th year, DEVEX is a well-established Aberdeen-based conference that caters for subsurface geoscience, engineering and drilling professionals who are actively involved in field exploitation and aims to foster cross-discipline co-operation and dialogue between the different disciplines. The theme for 2013 was ‘Maximizing Our Diverse Resources’.

Held on May 15thand 16th at the Aberdeen Conference and Exhibition Centre (AECC), DEVEX 2013 had 480 delegates attending over the two days. There were 46 high-quality presentations from a wide range of industry professional, 20 posters and a record breaking 37 exhibitors.

We had 2 great keynote speakers, one for each day of the conference, both giving high level insights into the ‘thriving market’ in the North Sea. The keynote speakers were Nick Gee, Senior VP at Weatherford and Rob Peters, E&P Director at Maersk North Sea.

This year at DEVEX we had a very wide range of topics that fell under this year’s theme of Maximizing our Diverse Resources. All the presentations were very high quality and this year we had a high proportion of operator presentations which may demonstrate increase in North Sea activity. DECC also played a larger part in the technical programme this year with their 2 presentation, ‘The PILOT EOR Workstream: Progress to Date’ and ‘Stewardship: Best in Class?’ We also introduced an ‘Underdeveloped Resources’ session which incorporated the hot topic of unconventionals.

Three awards were made for Best Paper, Best Academic Paper/poster and Best Poster, at the conference:

Mark Hayes of RPS Group was given the Gert De Jong Best Paper award and a prize of £250 for his presentation entitled “Why can’t I get my Reserves Right?”

The Best Academic presentation and a prize of £500 went to Matt Hutchinson of the University of Aberdeen for his paper “ The use of Spectral Gamma Ray to Enhance Lithological and Palaeoenvironmental Resolution within the Skagerrak Formation, Central North Sea”.

The Best Poster award and the £250 prize were awarded to Simon Shaw of ConocoPhillips for his poster “The Jasmine Field: Ocean Bottom Node Seismic Acquisition over the Jasmine Field, UK Central North Sea.”

Additional conference events comprised of two Core Workshops, a Field Trip to the Highland Boundary Fault and the Highland Boundary Complex (HBC) and a Young Professionals Event -‘Is Your Future in Energy’.

At the pre-conference core workshop, cores were displayed from a range of depositional environments from the CNS Triassic & Chalk and the SNS Carboniferous and Permian, with well logs and maps providing supporting material. Twenty-five delegates were treated to an educational guided tour from four experts whose irrepressible enthusiasm was also entertaining. The event was not just a ‘show and tell’ and participants were involved in lively discussions. Core viewings are always interesting to both first-timers and seasoned geologists alike and this event was no exception. The variety of the core, the differences between the displays and the stories they told will have offered something for everyone who came along.

The core workshop organising committee would like to thank ConocoPhillips for the release of relevant core material and sponsoring the event; to Iron Mountain Dyce for the use of their facilities and laying out the core; and finally to our presenters :- Triassic -Neil Meadows (Redrock International ); Chalks -Graham Aplin (Senergy); Carboniferous/Permian: Roddy McGarva and Stuart Buck (Task Geosciences).

The core workshop was organised by Hugo Lawrence (ConocoPhillips); Jim Ritchie (Senergy) and Richard Arnold (Baker Hughes Reservoir Services).

The Stonehaven field trip went off successfully with a visit to see the Highland Boundary Fault and the Highland Boundary Complex (HBC). The evening was dry and sunny with a gentle breeze and an overview of the importance of Stonehaven as the boundary between the Scottish “highlands” and “lowlands” demonstrated. The closure of the Iapetus Ocean and the volcanic and shales of the HBC interpreted as a portion of oceanic crust was explained. This was followed by a quick visit to the fishing hamlet of Cowie to see the Old Red Sandstone outcrops and the locality of the fossil Pneumodesmus newmani, the oldest air-breathing animal found to date. A splendid meal was then enjoyed at the Marine Hotel.

Many thanks to Dominic McCormick for running the field trip and thanks to his colleagues for providing HSE and first aid cover.

The Young Professionals organised a lunch time work shop to explore the future of energy in and around Aberdeen. The workshop took the form of a panel debate, with the panel made up of Mr Ken Innes, Production Academy Manager of Shell representing the Oil and Gas industry, Mr Andrew Donaldson, Renewables Director of Petrofac representing the Renewable energy industry, Mr Brian Nixon, Chief Executive of Decom North Sea Decommissioning and Mr Gordon Macintosh, representing Director of Enterprise, Planning & Infrastructure of Aberdeen City Council. The panel where moderated by Mr John Harris President of Gaffney, Cline & Associates. The audience were asked a number of questions by the moderator, the final being “Do you think Aberdeen will still be the Oil and Gas Capital of Europe in 2023”, with 53 % of people believing that it would not be the capital in 2023. The debate focused on a number of issues such as the great crew change, skills needed in the industry and entrepreneurship. The subject of Aberdeen’s future was the main topic of the debate, with the panel explaining the future potential of Aberdeen after the north sea’s oil production ends. There were many comparisons drawn between Houston and Aberdeen. At the end of the debate the fourth question was re-asked and this time there was a major reversal, with over 65% of the audience believing Aberdeen would still be the oil and gas capital of Europe in 10 years’ time. The YP team would like to thank everyone involved in helping making the event such a success.

It has been encouraging to see such a good turn-out at this Year’s conference from those looking to learn more about field production and development. Overall I was delighted with the success of the conference; the quality of the technical programme and the special events, the attendance (which was a record), the excellent exhibition and moreover the support we received from the wider industry. When viewed as a whole, the conference offers a rare opportunity to bring together the various subsurface and drilling disciplines to share their experiences on an individual and company basis, that sets the tone for future co- operation that is essential for the continued success of the industry.

Finally I’d like to introduce the chair of DEVEX 2014, Peter Brand of SPE who works with Taqa.

DEVEX 2014 will take place early May 2014 at the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre (AECC).

DEVEX is a joint venture between PESGB, SPE and the Aberdeen Formation Evaluation Society.

Rebecca Nye Chair DEVEX 2013

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