Successful Kick-off of North Sea Offshore Event - 28/07/2015

Jan Boon, NIOZ, The Netherlands

On 4 June 2015, the first North Sea Offshore Event took place, excellently organised by ‘Ontwikkelingsbedrijf Noord-Holland Noord’. The event started decentralised with seven morning workshops at seven different companies in the Den Helder region. One of these companies was NIOZ Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research on the isle of Texel. The NIOZ workshop focused on the NIOZ Deep Sea Science and Technology Centre (DSSTC).

DSSTC chief scientist Prof. Gert-Jan Reichart gave a general background introduction on why deep-sea mining recently gained global interest and showed some of the first results of the current international project ‘TREASURE’ in the Atlantic Ocean near the Azores on the possible environmental effects of deep-sea mining. Chief engineer Marck Smit explained the different types of technology available at Royal NIOZ for deep-sea research. After the theoretical part, the participants were split into two groups for a guided tour through the institute to see the labs, the equipment and workshops. At noon the participants left for the general afternoon programme at the ‘Dukdalf’ on the old wharf of the Royal Navy ‘Willemsoord’ in Den Helder on the other side of the Marsdiep Tidal Inlet.

After an animated lunch, the afternoon programme, enthusiastically led by chairman Stefan Morssink for all (> 250!) participants, included a lecture by Ante Frens on the plans to scale down the (mainly) gas exploration activities of the Nederlandse Aardolie Maatschappij (NAM) in the Dutch and UK sections of the southern North Sea, followed by a lecture by Eric Wesselman that lifted a tip of the veil of a KPMG study on the outlook of the offshore sector over the coming decades. Eric explicitly promoted the joining of forces in the maritime sector with the quote ‘It is easier to hunt in packs’. The full KPMG report will be available after the summer. The day was closed with a lecture by Annemarie van Gaal, one of the most successful business women in the Netherlands, who started with a media company in Russia in the 1990s and now guides and invests in start-up firms. She closed her very inspiring session with a quote from a leading ice-hockey international: “Always look where the puck is going; it is more important than where the players are”. All in all a very good day; definitely worth repeating next year!

Last updated: 03/04/2020