Shell VP, Exploration: 'No More Easy Oil'

Shell Europe's vice president of exploration, Tom Botts, will review some hard truths at Subsea 08 when he gives his keynote address to 200 representatives from the global subsea sector.

Speaking at the major subsea oil and gas event, which kicks off Feb. 12 at the AECC, Mr Botts will focus on the global future of an industry which was developed in Aberdeen.

"There is no more easy oil," Botts will warn, "and the subsea industry is critical to unlocking more oil to meet world supply."

He will focus on the innovation developed in Aberdeen in the subsea industry and discuss how Shell has applied these technologies to its own developments.

Event sponsors, E.On Ruhrgas will share its plans for the UK Continental Shelf and its commitment to Aberdeen. Felix Lerch, general manager operation for E.On Ruhrgas UK North Sea says: "We know that the UKCS is a mature hydrocarbon privnce which in turn means that we are faced with the development of smaller and technically more challenging hydrocarbon accumulations.

"Furthermore it is not an easy task to operate in an environment where service costs are high and lead times for materials are growing. We at E.on Ruhrgas are accepting this challenge. Part of the overall E.On strategy is to provide about 15% of gas sales in the near future from our own production We are therefore focusing more and more on the upstream sector and have built a young and dynamic team here in Aberdeen that cover the hydrocarbon chain from exploration through development to production.

"It is our intention to continue growing the E&P business here in the UK and also internationally.

"We have matured development plans for the Rita and Babbage gas discoveries. These projects are possible through strong technical work, partner alignment and positive co-operation with suppliers and service companies alike. This shows that it is possible to execute projects that have significant investment in the UKCS and thereby contribute to the security of supply in the UK."

Organised by Subsea UK, the event is set to be bigger and better than previous shows. Chief executive of Subsea UK, David Pridden, says: "We are looking forward to hearing some thought-provoking presentations and participating in some stimulating debate. Tom Botts is right when he says there is no more easy oil. It is getting tougher and tougher to extract and the future unquestionably lies with subsea.

"But we cannot keep relying on technologies developed in our illustrious past and with an increasing level of investment in the industry today, we must continue to innovate for the future. We must keep pushing the boundaries through the development of new technologies and new ways of working to make even the most challenging deepwater project a viable reality."

Over 2000 delegates from ten countries will attend Subsea 08. The conference will be followed by an awards dinner when industry body Subsea UK will unveil the subsea company of the year, the most promising young subsea person of the year, best newcomer to the industry and the greatest individual contribution to the subsea industry.

The exhibition on Thursday will see almost 100 subsea companies showcase their technology and services.

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