Petrobras and Wood Group CEOs to speak at opening plenary at SPE Offshore Europe 2017

Pedro Parente, CEO of Petrobras and Robin Watson, chief executive of Wood Group are to speak at the opening plenary session at SPE Offshore Europe 2017 which is being held in Aberdeen from 5-8 September 2017.

They will join Ben van Beurden, CEO of Royal Dutch Shell and Bob Dudley, group chief executive of BP to address the central theme of Embracing New Realities: Reinventing our Industry in a top CEO line-up on the opening day of Europe’s foremost exploration and production (E&P) technical conference and exhibition.

2017 05 29 092619Pedro Parente, CEO, Petrobras, will speak at the opening plenary session at SPE Offshore Europe 2017

Conference chair Catherine MacGregor, president, Drilling Group, Schlumberger welcomed the speakers: “It is testimony to the relevance of the North Sea th at these industry leading CEOs with global portfolios have agreed to speak at the opening plenary session at SPE Offshore Europe 2017.  Their insights will set the stage for the largest and most topical technical conference and exhibition in Europe, reflecting the strategic, commercial, behavioural and technology challenges that will shape the future of the industry for the next ten years and beyond.”

Robin Watson will join the three operating company CEOs to give a service company’s perspective of the new realities the industry is facing.

Robin Watson became chief executive of Wood Group in January 2016, having been chief operating officer and an executive member of the Wood Group board since January 2013 and chief executive officer of the Wood Group’s PSN division since 2012. Mr Watson is a chartered mechanical engineer, a fellow of both the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and the Energy Institute and holds a position of visiting professor at the Robert Gordon University. He holds a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) and an Honours Degree in Offshore & Mechanical Engineering. Prior to joining Wood Group, he worked for Petrofac and Mobil Oil, working in the UK and internationally.

2017 05 29 092634Robin Watson, chief executive, Wood Group will speak at the opening plenary session at SPE Offshore Europe 2017

Pedro Parente was appointed CEO of Petrobras, the Brazilian multinational oil company, in June 2016.  He holds a graduate degree in electrical engineering from the University of Brasilia and began his career in public service at Banco do Brasil in 1971. Mr Parente was a consultant at the International Monetary Fund and at public institutions in Brazil, including the Departments of State and of the 1988 National Constituent Assembly.  Between 1999 and 2002, Mr Parente held several Government positions including chief of staff minister, minister of planning, deputy minister of finance, chairman of the energy crisis management chamber and was a member of the board of Petrobras becoming chairman in 2002.

SPE Offshore Europe 2017 will offer more than 65 technical papers and 11 keynote panel sessions combined with business breakfasts and topical lunches.  New technologies, products and services launched by exhibitors in the last 12 months will be highlighted in a new initiative called ‘Tech Trek’, developed to help visitors to find what’s new, more easily. A ‘new for 2017’ Decommissioning Zone will feature a themed exhibition and conference space. Free-to-attend, the zone will include an exhibition area for decommissioning technology and service providers as well as a conference programme organised in association with Decom North Sea, IMechE, ITF and SUT.

SPE Offshore Europe has been held biennially in Aberdeen since 1973. It is the largest E&P conference and exhibition outside North America. 

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SPE Offshore Europe is organised by The Offshore Europe Partnership, a joint venture between Reed Exhibitions Ltd and the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE).

Reed Exhibitions is the world’s leading event organiser, with over 500 events in 40 countries. In 2013 Reed brought together over six million active event participants from around the world generating billions of dollars in business. Today Reed events are held throughout the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Asia Pacific and Africa and organised by 34 fully staffed offices. Reed Exhibitions serves 43 industry sectors with trade and consumer events and is part of the Reed Elsevier Group, a world leading provider of professional information solutions.

The Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) is a not-for-profit professional association whose members are engaged in energy resources development and production. SPE serves more than 164,000 members in 143 countries worldwide. SPE is a key resource for technical knowledge related to the oil and gas exploration and production industry and provides services through its publications, events, training courses, and online resources at


NEFTEGAZ 2017: Key Event for the Russian Oil and Gas Industry registers to the Tune of 20,200 Trade Visitors

NEFTEGAZ 2017 – the International Exhibition for Equipment and Technologies for the Oil and Gas Industry – succeeded in impressively confirming its role once again as the most important industry meeting point for experts from all over the world: to the tune of 20,200 international trade visitors travelled to Moscow to find out about the latest developments in the fields of equipment for the oil and gas industries.

586 exhibitors from 26 nations presented an extensive product portfolio on over 59,400 square metres of gross exhibition space. The most important national companies in the sector such as Gazprom, Tatneft, Transneft and TMK met with major international, household-name exhibitors like R&B Industrial Supply Company, Honeywell Process Solutions, Jumo, Kanex-Krohne, China Petroleum Technology & Development Corporation or Schneider Electric at NEFTEGAZ 2017.

2017 05 26 100306Alongside the latest extraction technologies for oil and gas reserves the trend themes at many stands were the future of the raw materials business all the way down to modern environmental monitoring systems and the trend towards Industry 4.0.

Exhibitors at NEFTEGAZ particularly emphasised high visitor competence and delighted at numerous business deals done and the networking among experts. Drawing positive conclusions, Alexej Kovalev, Vice-CEO of OOO VEGA INSTRUMENTS and representative of VEGA Grieshaber KG, Germany, said: “Our company has already participated in NEFTEGAZ for over 15 years now. If a company opts in favour of participating, then it primarily hopes to substantially boost its sales in the first place, to get to know new customers and to strike new deals. In this connection our participation has paid off to the max.”

Many high-calibre companies such as Allrus OOO, Drillmec, Honeywell, JUMO GmbH & Co. KG, KSR KÜBLER RUS, OOO MSA SAFETY; MTU RUS OOO and KSR KÜBLER RUS have already announced their participation at the next event in April 2018.

Pleased with the successful outcome of the event, Werner Matthias Dornscheidt, President & CEO of Messe Düsseldorf, said: “One thing has become perfectly clear again: the concurrent holding of the trade exhibition and the national Oil & Gas Forum results in valuable additional business opportunities for our exhibitors and visitors. At NEFTEGAZ experts meet with the whole spectrum of national industry. As the only trade fair for the sector NEFTEGAZ is under the patronage of the Energy Ministry of the Russian Federation. We and our partners OOO Messe Düsseldorf Moscow and AO EXPOCENTR regard this as a special honour.”

The trade exhibition also featured German participation this year. The “German Pavilion” organised by Messe Düsseldorf included 32 companies on a total area of 774 square metres. “A good result, considering there was no official participation on the part of the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology on account of the economic sanctions,” explains Werner Matthias Dornscheidt. Next to Germany, China also took part with its own national pavilion.

This year NEFTEGAZ was again accompanied by a varied programme of seminars, panel discussions as well as the concurrent Oil & Gas Forum for Oil and Gas Extraction Technologies.

The coming NEFTEGAZ will be held from 16 – 19 April 2018 at the Expocentre in Moscow.

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Proserv Norway secures significant decommissioning project awards

Energy services company Proserv has recently been awarded three contracts worth a combined value of more than $2.5million (approx. 21.5m Norwegian Krone) for decommissioning work in the Norwegian North Sea.

The firm’s Stavanger facility will provide cutting services as part of a full severance package covering subsea and topside work. Compared to more traditional approaches, the cutting technology solutions deployed by Proserv can save hours in well severance and plugging, which can lead to significant savings in day rates over a campaign.

These awards build upon decommissioning successes for the company globally in recent months with around $8million worth of work secured in Asia Pacific, the UK and Gulf of Mexico.

2017 05 17 092753A Proserv technician working on the firm’s suite of decommissioning tooling

As part of the decommissioning workscopes, Proserv will provide abrasive cutting, diamond wire cutting, grout removal and dredging services.

Henrik Johnson, region president for Norway, said: “To date, we have cut over 300 wells globally in a variety of challenging conditions and environments, so our track record and the reliability of our equipment was a key factor in securing these awards. Another major attraction is the fact we can offer a wide range of integrated services all under one roof helping to cut costs, reduce complex supply chains and better manage risk through using a single source provider.

“One of the contracts requires specialist engineered solutions to deal with non-standard sizes used in the structure. The complex installation requires a custom technology solution rather than an ‘off-the-shelf’ package and this is at the core of Proserv’s expertise.”

The contracts come at a time of strong investment and development with the company currently investing more than $2million to develop two new Multi String Cutting (MSC) systems for well severance campaigns, to meet market demand.

Proserv is a technology-driven company providing products, services and bespoke solutions to clients across the drilling, production and decommissioning market sectors. Operating worldwide through 22 operating centres based in 12 countries, the company has won a string of industry awards over the years in recognition of its achievements.


Millennials expert gives stark warning to global oil and gas sector: update approach or lose future workforce

- OSCC 2017 speaker says if next generation’s loyalty hangs in the balance so too does the industry -

Millennials expert Ryan Jenkins is warning the global oil and gas industry that it is on the brink of a dangerous ‘war on talent’ which will see young people becoming disengaged and moving into other sectors within just a few years of employment. He is urging organisations to adapt modern technology and methods to attract, train and retain young people to ensure the workforce of tomorrow also develops into a safe and competent one.

2017 05 17 092428Jenkins, a world-renowned expert and published author on the topic of millennials, will deliver his stark message during his keynote presentation at the annual OPITO Safety & Competence Conference (OSCC 2017) which is being held on 8th November and at the Royal Chulan, Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia for the second year running.

OSCC 2017 is the only global event focused on safety and competency in the oil and gas industry. Now open for registrations (, the free to attend conference attracts delegates and exhibitors from all over the world including the UK, US, Europe, Middle East and AsiaPac.

Jenkins speech will set the tone under this year’s theme ‘New Generation, New Thinking’. He will uncover the unique culture of those born between 1982-1997, what influences and attracts them to stay with companies, as well as revealing examples of global organisations successfully building a stronger future.

Originally from Colorado in the US, he has helped organisations such as soft drinks giant Coca-Cola, heavy equipment manufacturer John Deere, and international financial business Wells Fargo to adapt and better understand young people entering their industries.

Jenkins said: “A war on talent has begun in the global workplace and the oil and gas industry is at the threshold. The millennial generation makes up the lion’s share of personnel across companies with 66% of them expecting to leave their current employer by the end of 2020. This makes attraction and retention amongst the greatest challenges for businesses today.

“Companies must not only battle against competitors to be the most appealing to this generation, but they must also give serious consideration as to how they engage with them, the technology young people use, and how this group views and equates success at work.

“My presentation at OSCC 2017 will drive this message hometo delegates, reveal some of the latest working trends and provide a better understanding of who millennials are.”

The OSCC event and exhibition was introduced eight years ago to bring operators, contractors and the supply chain together with training organisations and provide a forum for improving standards of safety and competency that protect the workforce and the industry’s reputation.

OPITO interim chief executive officer John McDonald said: “The next generation has grown up in a hi-tech, fast paced, interconnected world and as an industry, we need to look at how we can further embrace these methods and gadgetry advancements whilst maintaining standards.

“We look forward to Ryan sharing his wisdom and strategic experiences with us as we consider the ambitions of millennials as well as hearing from our other speakers and industry experts discussing new practices and standards during the event.”

OPITO delivers standards to improve workforce safety and competency at a global level with business units focused on Asia Pacific, the Middle East and Africa, the UK and Europe; and the Americas. The organisation works with Governments, national oil companies, multi-nationals and contractors to meet their skills needs to provide independent advice and guidance on effective management of workforce skills development, emergency response and occupational standards and qualifications and quality assurance of training delivery.

Ryan Jenkins is the author of the book ‘The Millennial Manual: The Complete How-To Guide to Manage, Develop and Engage Millennials at Work’. He has featured in Forbes, Fast Company, Inc., and SUCCESS magazine. Ryan is also a partner in, a micro-learning platform for training Millennials.


US market entry heralds growth opportunities for Polaris Learning

A Scottish training firm has announced a joint venture with a US-based energy company as its plans for international growth heat up.

Polaris Learning will work together with Safety Management Systems (SMS), part of Acadian Companies, to deliver a range of training courses to onshore and offshore workers in the US oil and gas industry, which will help the company secure a vital foothold in the lucrative American market and allow the business to support the global operations of existing North Sea clients.

2017 05 17 070450Keith Adam, managing director at Polaris LearningPolaris Learning has been supported throughout this international expansion by Scottish Development International (SDI), which has provided business and marketing strategy support as well as advice on exporting services.

SMS has training centres in Houston, TX and Louisiana which have welcomed more than 134,000 students since 2011. The link-up with Polaris Learning will allow these learners to complete qualifications remotely at the click of a button, through the Scottish firm’s online and blended learning portal, PLUS. Polaris Learning staff will provide additional support through webinars, video conferencing and email.

Courses initially on offer will include assessor, verifier and leadership management training along with a range of practical and work-based certificates, aimed mainly at large drilling and marine companies. It is expected that additional services, particularly around competency management, will be introduced to US learners as the relationship develops.

Keith Adam, managing director at Polaris Learning, said: “Breaking into new markets whilst working with other well-respected training providers ties in with our wider growth plans, which has seen our company work in an ever-increasing number of international locations over the past 12 months.

“Safety Management Systems is a major player in the US training sector so we are extremely pleased to be working so closely with an established partner to bring our knowledge and experience to bear for individuals working in the country’s energy industry.

“This link-up is an important first step and we expect to secure a number of key clients for our range of training courses within the first year of this collaboration. To begin with, the scope of our agreement will cover the US only but we are hopeful this could lead to further opportunities in Canada, Mexico and South America.”

Safety Management Systems (SMS), headquartered in Lafayette, Louisiana, is one of the largest health, safety, environmental, medical, security and training service companies in the United States. It is a provider of highly-rated and comprehensive training programmes for the oil and gas industry, including OPITO, API and USCG-approved courses. In addition to its dedicated training facilities, SMS provides on-site training for customers around the world.

Marc Pretorius, training manager at Safety Management Systems’ Houston training facility, said: “We first approached Polaris Learning as a training partner based on its track-record and reputation for providing high-quality training courses to clients in the oil and gas industry.

“The synergies between the two companies made this the right fit for both parties so we are excited about the potential this agreement brings, particularly in terms of the ability to offer our clients a bespoke online learning experience. This service will perfectly complement our company’s existing range of practical assessments and qualifications to give the end-user greater flexibility when it comes to completing qualifications and assessments.”

Polaris Learning recorded turnover of just under £1million for its December 2016 year-end. The company is targeting year-on-year growth with turnover projected to increase by more than 50% to £1.5million by the end of 2018.

Established in 1996, Polaris Learning provides competency management services as well as an extensive range of accredited training and qualification programmes from the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) and the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM).

The business was recently approved for the Business Gateway Growth Pipeline, an intensive 18-month programme which provides across-the-board support covering business strategy, marketing strategy, IT resources and research into overseas markets.

In November 2016, Polaris Learning exhibited at the Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference (ADIPEC) as part of the SDI Scotland Pavilion. The company has also expanded into new geographical markets over the past 12 months, Scandinavia, Central Europe, the Middle East and the Far East, following the development of its online and blended learning portal, PLUS.