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UK subsea industry urged to act now to capitalise on energy transition

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Oilfield Technology,

The subsea industry is being advised to act now to capitalise on the energy transition, with experts warning that the road to net-zero is already underway and companies need to meet the change of pace required.

Industry leaders and government panellists will discuss how the subsea supply chain can maximise the potential of the energy transition as part of Subsea UK’s new virtual event ‘Subsea Live’ which is due to take place from 25 May – 27 May.

Opportunities include facilitating the growth of the offshore wind market by supporting the installation of turbines, the construction of offshore substations and transferring power back to shore using subsea cabling.

Further opportunities for the sector exist in emerging technologies such as green hydrogen, which could potentially be produced offshore and piped back to land, and in carbon capture utilisation and storage (CCUS) which requires subsea infrastructure to transport it to depleted oil fields for storage once captured onshore.

A recent report by Wood Mackenzie for the Oil & Gas Technology Centre (OGTC) stated the growth in offshore renewables, hydrogen and CCUS could more than double the economic impact of the UKCS, contributing £2.5 trillion to the UK economy and creating over 200 000 new jobs.

However, companies must act quickly to capitalise on the opportunities available, according to Tom Heggarty, principal analyst in Wood Mackenzie’s Energy Transition Practice.

He said: “Momentum has been gathering around decarbonisation in the UK and globally over the past two years. The pressures to get to net zero are only going to accelerate and the companies that will be best placed to capitalise will be the ones who are looking at what they can do now.

“The energy transition is not something that’s going to need addressing in five to ten years’ time, we’re going to see more demand for developing technologies to support decarbonisation and subsea companies, who are well positioned to play an important role here, need to understand what’s coming and take advantage of it today.”

Tom Heggarty will participate in Subsea Live’s Cross Sector panel session alongside experts from AREG, UK Defence Solution Centre and Subsea UK who will explore and debate the near-term and longer-term opportunities in the energy transition and the blue economy and how the supply chain can gear up to pursue them.

This panel session is one of two planned for the three-day event, hosted by Kirstin Gove and streamed live from the Subsea Live TV studio in Aberdeen, offering a professional broadcast quality debate to engage the audience.

Subsea Live will feature representatives from UK Marine Energy Council, Baker Hughes, Ørsted, Serica Energy, Neptune Energy, Equinor, SSE Renewables and Scottish Development International with speakers contributing live from the studio and remotely.

Delegates will hear from Subsea UK member companies on innovative solutions and multi-disciplinary applications in new and existing markets, while oil and gas operators and offshore wind developers will provide information on their upcoming projects and how the supply chain can engage with them.

Global opportunities will also be a focus, with speakers offering insights into emerging markets, regions of future interest and how the industry can make in-roads in global sectors such as offshore wind.

Neil Gordon, chief executive of Subsea UK said: “The subsea industry, with its roots in oil and gas, a strong foothold in offshore wind and massive potential in other segments of the blue economy, has the capability to become one of the UK’s fastest-growing, high value industries of the future, contributing not only to economic recovery but, crucially, to delivery of our net-zero targets.

“Subsea Live will provide insight, analysis and debate around how the supply chain can utilise the blue economy to play a key role in the UK’s energy transition. Broadcast live from the Subsea Live studio, this virtual event is not just another webinar, it has been designed with high production values to engage delegates with live studio debates, pre-recorded videos and live presentations which they can dip in and out of, depending on their area of interest.”

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