OTC .04 Active Arena Focuses on the North Sea

OTC's active arena for 2004 focuses on "Independent Operators—The Future of the North Sea." It is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. to noon on Thursday, 6 May during the 2004 Offshore Technology Conference (OTC).

"Historically, the North Sea had large reserves, high production rates, huge facilities and extensive regulations, which translated into high investment and operating costs," said Jerry Streeter, Active Arena Chairman and Vice President of Marketing and Sales for JP Kenny Inc. "This also meant operators had to have high well flow rates and large recoverable reserves to justify investment. Super-majors have changed their focus to look for the next elephant fields, which leaves small independents with lower operating costs, and lower ROI and NPV requirements to move into the North Sea and begin developing remaining fields."

Independent Operators—The Future of the North Sea
Currently, the North Sea is going through the transition of huge discoveries by majors to smaller finds by independents, similar to what occurred in the Gulf of Mexico in the '80s and '90s. Can the lessons learned during the Gulf's metamorphosis be applied to the North Sea? Will the lessons being learned today in the North Sea enhance operations in the Gulf? Are current U.K. tax and regulatory practices friendly to this transformation? Are changes required before independents can profitably exploit fields in the North Sea thereby maintaining a healthy U.K. service industry?

Government panelists will discuss tax, licensing, HSE, regulatory and technology issues being addressed today by the U.K. government to enhance the investment opportunities for independents, while industry panelists will relate their company's experience and what future actions government needs to take, if any, to enhance investment opportunities in the North Sea.

Will Rowley, Director, Infield Systems Ltd.
John Evans, Inland Revenue Assistant Director, Energy Group, Revenue Policy International, U.K. Inland Revenue
Mel Fitzgerald, Regional Vice President, Western Europe, Halliburton Energy Service Group
Thomas J. Morrow, President, Challenger Minerals Inc.
Daniel F. McNease, Chief Executive Officer, Rowan Companies, Inc.
Taf Powell, Head of Offshore Division, Health & Safety Executive
Cameron Stewart, Head of Technology and Innovation, Deputy Director, Oil and Gas Directorate, U.K. Department of Trade and Industry
Simon Toole, Director of Licensing, Exploration and Development, U.K. Department of Trade and Industry
Ian Whewell, Deputy Director of Offshore Division, Health & Safety Executive

For more information about the 35th annual OTC, including the full technical program and registration, visit OTC.04