The 11th edition of DEVEX opened with a speech from Pete Jones, MD of TAQA in the UK. He described the challenges of falling production and rising costs that the North Sea is experiencing and explained how TAQA is facing them with focus on the basics, allied with technical innovation. The second day’s keynote speech was from Crawford Anderson, VP for the UK Geomarket for Baker Hughes. He also put forward a view of the North Sea as providing opportunities – especially for people starting their careers.
The conference was again organised into two parallel sessions, with presentations given by 44 speakers, on a wide range of topics, including several field cases studies and reports on a number of technical developments. Popular topics on the first day were field studies on Clair and Machar from BP and Telford from Nexen. Well-attended presentations on non-field-specific topics were also made by McKinsey on North Sea challenges and by AGR on CCS. On the second day the biggest crowds were for the talks on Bittern and Penguin from Shell, on Pelican from TAQA, on Buzzard from Nexen and on Gryphon from Maersk. Most special mention must go to the winners of the Gert De Jonge Awards for the best presentations.
The exhibition in 2014 was the biggest ever at DEVEX, with 33 exhibitors representing operators, suppliers, service companies, educational institutions and consultancies of all sizes. As usual the numerous breaks in the conference programme, serving lunch and refreshments in the exhibition hall and the networking reception on the Tuesday evening allowed delegates ample opportunity to visit all the stands and for exhibitors to mingle. The author-attended poster session on the Wednesday, also held in the exhibition hall, proved popular this year.
The Young Professionals workshop, which this year was predominantly organised by the YP section of PESGB, was again successfully held over lunch on the second day. It addressed the topic of teamwork and featured enthusiastic participation from over 50 attendees, quizzing an experienced panel chaired by Oonagh Werngren, President of PESGB. The Organising Committee thanks her and her panellists most warmly.
In another innovation this year, the field trip was extended to an entire afternoon/evening on the Thursday following the main conference, and integrated neatly with the core workshop, held that morning at the Iron Mountain Core Store, Kirkhill, Dyce. The core workshop consisted of a guided tour through Carboniferous, Triassic, Rotliegndes and Lower Cretaceous reservoirs. Thanks to the enthusiastic and knowledgeable presenters: Roddy McGarva and Stuart Buck (Task Geosciences), Neil Meadows (Red Rocks Associates) and Graham Aplin (Senergy) and to ConocoPhillips for access to their core collection. The field trip, in fine weather and stunning scenery on the Moray coast, focused on turbidites and was led for the second year running by Dominic McCormick of Shell, for which the Organising Committee thanks him and his assistants most warmly.
The conference in 2014 was not quite as well attended as the two previous conferences. A number of factors combined to cause this: a bank holiday the day before the conference opened and the UK licence round deadline the previous Friday, meant that the week of DEVEX became a popular week for people to go away on holiday. The fact that DEVEX this year also coincided with OTC, one of the biggest oil and gas conferences in the world, albeit in the USA, also had some impact. Despite these factors, well over 300 delegates attended the event. This still falls short of the Organising Committee’s aims for DEVEX and we are determined to learn from this experience as planning for DEVEX 2015 begins.