Ten reasons why subsea is sexy

The third definition of the word ‘sexy’ in Collins English Dictionary is:

‘Interesting, exciting or trendy’

In this sense, Subsea UK CEO, Neil Gordon, certainly attracted us to the sector at a recent lunch and learn in Fifth Ring’s Aberdeen office.

Describing itself as a ‘global centre of excellence’, Subsea UK is the membership body for the entire UK subsea supply chain, with the aim to increase opportunities at home and abroad for the industry.

Neil Gordon started his career as a commercial diver at National Hyperbaric Centre (NHC), where he gained an ocean of experience and knowledge in energy and built a strong network of contacts. He then held successful business development and management positions with oil and gas and technology companies – innovation and long-term client relations at the heart of each role.

He has been in charge at Subsea UK for nearly three years, and the organisation now has over 290 members and continues to grow!

So, without further ado, here are 10 reasons why the CEO seduced us into the sexy underwater world:

Global growth – between the period of 2013 and 2018, the world’s subsea market is expected to grow by 100 percent, to £40billion, bringing massive opportunity, i.e. for UK companies.

Old but growing – the offshore industry is over 60 years old and still flourishing. For example, the first well drilled out of sight of land in 1947 was in 20 feet water depth. Today, we are drilling in 10,000 feet water depth.

Five industry sectors – not only oil and gas, defence, ocean science, wave and tidal, and offshore wind.

Subsea UK website – attracting in excess of 18,000 unique visitors monthly for its news HUB, industry events, business intelligence, resourcing archive and subsea directory. The Subsea UK magazine is also distributed to 15,000 contacts.

Powering the planet – a global industry worth over £20billion per year.

UK sector – hosts 66,000 jobs in over 750 companies.

Seven international events – Subsea Expo (Aberdeen, UK); Subsea Asia (KL, Malaysia); Subsea Tieback Forum (San Antonio, USA); AOG (Perth, Australia); Rio Oil & Gas (Brazil); ONS (Norway); OTC (Houston, USA).

Subsea system – an impressive network of operations including linking platforms on the sea surface with risers and umbilicals  connected  to the seabed. The seabed itself houses manifolds, Christmas trees, production pumps and boosters.

Control systems – the primary function of the Christmas tree is to control the flow into or out of the well, usually oil and gas, through its control valves, pressure gauges and chokes assembled at the top of the well. These measures are paramount for safety, preventing blowouts that could lead to potential tragedies.

Curves – bend stiffeners are used to curve and strengthen risers, flowlines, cables or umbilicals to limit bending stresses. Please refer to the picture below to see the shape of this and the wider subsea system:

Neil Gordon’s presentation sexed up the subsea sector for our audience, with further questions coming from the creatives to the PRs – in all job levels.

The insightful session couldn’t have been more timely as we creep towards Thursday 18 September, and oil and gas chat becomes ever more topical – particularly in the North-East.

From our everyday beauty essentials (as our PR Director, Andrew Bradshaw, likes to point out) to new developments enabling us to tap into hard-to-reach reserves, oil and gas turns me on. And in this temperament, it strikes me as somewhat ironic that for a place that currently averages at 6°C, the North Sea has never seemed hotter!