Oil and gas industry events during October served to underline the critical role that technology development will have in the future of the oil and gas industry. Andrews Kurth team members recently attended the Deep Offshore Technology International Conference & Exhibition in Aberdeen and the Society of Petroleum Engineers Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition and Offshore Energy Exhibition & Conference events in Amsterdam. The theme of affordable energy was prevalent at all of these events and at Offshore Northern Seas in Stavanger in August, with widespread recognition that advanced technology will be responsible for enabling the cost-efficient recovery of hydrocarbon assets in the years ahead.

The global energy industry is currently at something of a crossroads. The worldwide demand for energy is expected to increase by almost 40% between now and 2040 yet the sector is heavily reliant on mature petroleum assets. More will have to be done to maximise recovery from existing assets and to bring new assets into production to meet this demand.

Subsea is one area where technology development is going to be essential for the industry. Speaking at a dinner during Deep Offshore Technology, Neil Gordon, chief executive of industry body Subsea UK, highlighted subsea and deepwater activity as a priority area, including seismic reservoir characterisation and management, drilling efficiencies and subsea production.

Hugh Fraser, managing partner of Andrews Kurth’s Dubai office, said: “Deepwater has not been a significant feature of Middle East oil and gas production to date but activity in the East Mediterranean, Red Sea and offshore Oman is likely to change this. The relevance of subsea technologies to the region will increase and companies with expertise developed in the Gulf of Mexico and the North Sea may well find it an increasingly receptive market for their technologies and know-how.