2007 Conference Review
Almost 100 delegates from 16 countries covering Europe, Middle East, North America and SE Asia registered to attend the first Offshore Survey Conference held at the UK National Oceanography Centre in Southampton on 27 and 28 March 2007. Delegates heard a wide range of papers from a panel of 21 distinguished Speakers who addressed topics of current concern in the offshore survey industry as well as announcing new technologies and recent innovative offshore projects.
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John Westwood from Douglas-Westwood Ltd delivered a very positive Key Note Address, which reviewed prospects in the global Energy industry. Worldwide energy demand will increase by 71% to 118million b/d by 2030, and most supplies will come from deep waters. This growth, and the move towards subsea processing, will drive greater demand for survey personnel and services.
The current severe shortage of skilled personnel in the offshore survey sector was addressed by Tim Jackson of BP who illustrated dramatically how important the survey task is throughout the cradle-to-grave life of all offshore developments. Secondly, the issue of how to recruit, train and retain skilled personnel was taken up by Dave Whitcombe of Shell who illustrated a number of initiatives in this respect being taken within the survey sector and at higher education levels to overcome the shortage of personnel.
As a result, a number of Delegates have volunteered to assist in the working group and in raising the awareness of students at a number of educational levels to Offshore Survey as being a challenging and rewarding career. One important advance is the IHO-FIG accredited course in Hydrographic Surveying managed by Skilltrade BV, which opens up formal qualifications in Hydrographic Survey at Technician as well as University graduate level.
The programme included papers on: application of GPS techniques in tidal modelling from Gardline Geosurvey; metrology in deepwater developments by Geo Century; subsea acoustic positioning developments and experiences by Sonardyne, Kongsberg, Sonsub and Acergy; new bathymetric Lidar technology from Admiralty Coastal Surveys. Underwater sensor platforms were represented by ASV with their new semi-sub vehicle, and Chris Mott of Fugro Survey showed some extraordinary multibeam sonar images of a huge mud volcano taken by one of their deepwater AUVs. Data processing and visualisation were ably represented by CARIS and SRD.
There were Speakers from the non-energy survey sectors: Nick Tasker of the UK Hydrographic Office updated delegates on the significant expansion of its services and data products. John Dillon-Leetch, Deputy Hydrographer of the Port of London Authority, presented enlightening data from a number of survey projects, which showed the PLA’s expanding capabilities.
The announcement of the winner of the OS07 Best Presentation Award awaits final counting of Delegates’ feedback forms. The organisers advise that the high quality of all the presentations is likely to produce a very close result, which will be reported as soon as the final count is completed.
The Delegates also enjoyed meeting colleagues, seeing technologies and attending on-water demonstrations at the Ocean Business event being held alongside and there was a much-enjoyed social programme to round off the three-day event.
Overall this first Conference dedicated to Offshore Survey was considered a very successful start and positive feedback has already set the scene for the next Offshore Survey Conference in 2009.
For more information please contact Caroline Barraclough, Event Manager +44 (0) 844 4431050 or email firstname.lastname@example.org