The new realities the oil and gas industry is embracing and the need for reinvention in the service sector, were highlighted by our chief executive, Robin Watson as he helped launch Offshore Europe today (Tuesday September 5).

He spoke alongside Ben van Beurden, CEO Shell, Bob Dudley, CEO BP and Solange Guedes chief exploration & production officer, Petrobras, before hundreds of delegates at the exhibition’s opening plenary.

Robin took the audience back 200 years to when Meriwether Lewis and William Clark set out on an expedition across the Louisiana Territory in the hope of finding a water route linking the Columbia and Missouri river, only to be confronted by the Rocky Mountains. He used this as a metaphor to highlight the industry’s need to equip itself correctly, adapt and find new opportunities to add value rather than, “try to cross mountains in canoes”.

Talking of the challenges presented by the industry’s downturn, Robin conveyed his strong belief that we should accept, “the world in front of us in nothing like the world behind us” to ensure our future success.

Comparing the journey the oil and gas service sector has been on over the last few years to an expedition with risks and challenges, he reflected that being versatile and innovative is inherent to grasping opportunities and forging a new path forward.