Annual Report 2018-2019


Chair: Daniele Petrone

We have reached the end of the Society’s financial year (2018 – 2019) which marked more change for the positive this time. I think we have all seen a slower than expected market recovery and I hope things will turn into a more positive note for the whole community, operators and suppliers alike.

I took the Chairman role in September last year form Martin Harley who did a wonderful job in his time as acting Chair and continues to support the organisation as Vice Chair; I wish to sincerely thank Martin for all his efforts. Another massive “Thank You” goes to Jacqui Adams who has coordinated all SUT events in a very efficient and professional way.

Before I look back at our calendar of events, I would like to take this opportunity to say a huge “Thank You” to our Aberdeen SUT Branch Sponsors, BHGE, and OneSubsea – we would not have been able to develop the range of activities and events without their generous support and commitment.
Despite the still fragile recovery of the oil and gas industry, here in the Aberdeen Branch Committee we should be rightly proud of the programme we did manage to field in the past 12-months which included:

Three Subsea Awareness Courses; November 2018, March and May 2019, which demonstrates a return of companies into investing in their people. The feedback received by the delegates has been excellent throughout, showing the value of the course.

The Schools Christmas Lecture at the end of November 2018, very well attended and organised by our sub-committee; always a success that shows the variety of the underwater world to the future generations and to the education community.

Our AGM in December 2018 at the Marcliffe at Pitfodels was well received and enjoyed by all attendees. The numbers were slightly lower compared to previous years, probably a combination of company mergers as well as reduced spending. I hope 2019 will see more companies taking tables again and join us for a great evening.
The Business Breakfast and Networking morning at the Marcliffe in late January 2019, was popular as usual with three excellent presentations delivered to highlight the market situation, decommissioning and regulatory themes.

We managed to deliver five Evening Meetings in the year, with successful events on themes like diving, automation and another very interesting. “Question Time” in March 2019 with expert views and opinions from private equity backed operators, answering members submitted questions. Having run Question Time twice successfully now, we intend to run a third in 2020.

  • September 2018  – Gadgets and Widgets
  • October 2018 –  Subsea Optimisation and Maximising Efficiency
    (Salvage & UXO was 2019)
  • November 2018 – New Underwater Tooling and Technologies
  • February 2019 – Diving
  • March – Question Time

During our break from delivering evening meetings in late 2018, we joined forces with The Hydrographic Society of Scotland and IMCA (The International Marine Contractors Association) to devise and deliver a joint event on “Adapting to the Digital Future: The subsea industry in 20 Years”.

In March 2019 the SUT was involved with several other local organisations working collectively to prepare and deliver the conference with “NASA in Aberdeen – inspiring the next generation”. The SUT is scheduled to take an even more prominent role in delivering this important event in 2019, so watch this space.

Finally; to round off our year, the annual SUT Aberdeen Golf Day took place at Peterculter Golf Club on 27 June where members and colleagues enjoyed a great day out on this challenging course, in brilliant weather.

Overall, we can be proud of our record and efforts during the past year

Aberdeen Committee

Our committee member numbers have remained stable, although several changes in the people continued to happen this year; I would like to thank the individuals that make up our committee but also their parent companies for allowing their participation. Jacqui Adams our Events Manager has performed superbly under difficult circumstances and, I could not have completed my duties without the fantastic contribution of our Vice-Chair Martin Harley of Chrysaor.

Unfortunately, during the summer break, we had the sad news of Chris Milner’s untimely passing; Chris was SUT council member, ex-Chairman of the Aberdeen branch and very active member of the society and of the industry as well. Our thoughts are with his family and he will be sorely missed.

Also recently, John Lawson passed away; he was very close to the Society and one of the regular and indeed a founder presenter at our Subsea Awareness Course; we will all miss John’s experience and approach.


In addition to our regular committee, we also have an SUT+ committee in Aberdeen, consisting of new industry entrants, whether junior or going through a mid-career transition. The enthusiasm coming from the SUT+ has never been less than impressive and they frequently augment the regular committee events as well as running their own which have included chartership seminars, vessel and drilling rig visits, which are educational and free to attend.

Training Courses

The Subsea Awareness Course is probably the longest continuously running training course related to underwater operations in the industry. It’s something we are proud of here in Aberdeen, and the last year benefitted from the recently revised course material that now is presented to the delegates on tablet. Our presenters, busy oil and gas individuals who give their time freely, deserve a special mention for maintaining the high profile and reputation this course enjoys.

As mentioned earlier we have seen an increase of uptake in the course this past year with three sessions run, all very well attended. Over the coming year we are hopeful, given the improving conditions in the industry, that we can re-activate one or two of our short 1- and 2-day courses.

As the downturn is slowly coming to an end, we hope that the next year will bring renewed attention to our courses and especially evening events. We have all worked hard to deliver a full year of events and training and

I hope that now we will start again to see higher attendance to all our events.