Offshore Northern Seas or ONS as it's more commonly known in Stavanger is one of my personal favourite events in the calendar. Occurring every two years, ONS is a must attend for anyone working in the oil industry in Europe and beyond. The last time I visited I could not help but be impressed by the spirit of innovation and the positive buzz around Stavanger for the duration of the show. Indeed, it is so popular that many locals leave the city for vacations and rent out their houses to visiting oil professionals in order to accommodate all the exhibitors and delegates who travel to the city for the show.
This year's event does not show any signs of being hit by the depressed oil price with 1,392 exhibitors confirmed and an additional conference arena being added this year. So why is it that the world's oil and gas industry home in on this event as a must attend in the calendar? Here are four reasons it should be on your agenda.
1. Reason #1 Theme of transition
The oil industry is going through quite a transition at the moment due to the prolonged low oil price. The theme of this year's ONS reflects on this as the new norm, which is the feeling of many industry commentators. The visitor profile shows that of the 91,682 visitors 59% are line managers or above, nearly a third are from major oil companies and there are over 100 nationalities represented. Bringing together a significant sample of the industry to discuss the most topical theme on the industry's horizon, is a big reason not to miss ONS.
2. Reason #2 Conference program
The conference has grown since 2014 adding an additional conference arena taking it from four to five. There are 400 confirmed speakers including industry leaders, politicians and managers from across the world. The latest addition for 2016 is technical sessions, presenting in-depth oil and gas knowledge.
The technical sessions were developed by identifying the unsolved challenges within oil and gas. A technical sessions committee made up of a broad spectrum of technology experts, invited companies within oil and gas to submit suggestions for technological solutions. There are 16 sessions in the technical arena and they should be very interesting and full of new ideas and innovative thinking.
3. Reason #3 The festival
Unique to Stavanger, and completely free for the first three days of the show the festival is a real highlight of ONS. It is hosted in Stavanger Harbour and features fireworks, live music, and country and company pavilions. It's a great place to make new connections. It's always buzzing as there is so much to do but has a very relaxed vibe so makes for a great setting to meet with colleagues and customers after a long day at the conference.
4. Reason #4 The exhibition
Despite the challenging market conditions the exhibitor profile is strong with 1,392 exhibitors from 39 countries and 23 national pavilions which evidences the importance the oil and gas industry places on ONS.
Traditionally ONS has always been a great showcase of new technologies, and with the transition to the new norm, oil companies need to think differently about how they produce oil in order to lower lift costs and make fields viable. New innovations can support these efforts and in some cases deliver cost savings, you can learn more about how one of the technologies we offer can do this on our blog post; Five steps to cutting reservoir stimulation costs by 20%.
It is worth visiting the exhibition to see what new technologies are on offer and how they could support the industry in their transition to the new norm.
Its clear to see why ONS is such an important event in the oil and gas industry calendar. If you can't make it, you should watch our live behind the scenes broadcast live from ONS at 2:30 BST on Wednesday 31 August. Download the Periscope app and follow @DiscoverySubsea to watch. If you can make the show visit us on booth 282 to catch up.