Flagship SNS energy event to expand next year

A flagship event for the Southern North Sea which attracted 1,200 people from across the energy industry is to expand next year.

Operators, developers, supply chain companies, skills and training providers and schools and colleges took part in the record-breaking SNS2019, organised by the East of England Energy Group (EEEGR) to showcase the eastern region’s buoyant ‘all-energy’ sector.

Delegates enjoyed 75 presentations, expert panels and question and answer sessions at SNS2019, a two-day event held at Norfolk Showground last week.

A silent conferencing format saw presentations about oil and gas and offshore renewables taking place at the same time, in one conference hall, enabling delegates to choose which stream to listen to using headphones.

Simon Gray, EEEGR chief executive, said: “I’ve received some great feedback and it was fantastic to have such a positive and vibrant buzz over the two days of SNS2019.

“It’s clear the energy sector in the east is in growth mode, with thousands of new jobs being created across the sector and next year we plan to have an even bigger event.”

Numbers at the conference were further boosted by subsidiary events, including a meeting of the Southern North Sea Rejuvenation Special Interest Group (SIG), the Decommissioning SIG, an OGA exploration event for the SNS NorEX2019, a first for over two decades, Meet the Buyer sessions and Energise Your Future organised by OPITO.

Strategist, writer and broadcaster Dr Gabrielle Walker meanwhile addressed 400 guests at a sell-out dinner about how the sector could rise to global challenges, with a focus on sustainability, new energy and climate change.

One of the keynote speakers at SNS2019 was Deirdre Michie, chief executive at Oil & Gas UK, and she spoke highly of the event.

“Participating in SNS2019 gave me a great opportunity to shine a light on one of the oil and gas industry’s key hubs and recognise the huge amount of work being done to improve efficiencies through innovation and collaboration, developing new technologies across our energy system, and so maximising offshore production and generation,” she said.

“It was really great to see how the region is so joined up when it comes to an all-energy approach. Enterprising companies in East Anglia are already leading the way to deliver sustainable and low-carbon energy solutions to underpin economic growth across the UK, as we move through the en-ergy transition.”

Rob Bush, EEEGR operations manager, commented: “I think SNS will continue to grow, as will the energy sector in the east. There will be a new round of auctions in the North Sea highlighting how this region will be a major player. We will hopefully have some great news from EDF about Sizewell C and maybe about Bradwell B.

“SNS will be the showcase energy conference for 2020 and we have plans to expand. We are already discussing themes for 2020, which could include future power generation – clean transitional fuels, carbon offset and carbon capture.”

The silent conferencing proved a great success and resulted in high levels of engagement from delegates, he said.

“The idea was to increase the content and the level of speakers and it certainly worked,” said Mr Bush.

“We had a packed conference from the first session right through to lunchtime on the day two. People were more focused on the presentations and the presentations were a lot more engaging, with video and other content.”