A more realistic, safer and economically efficient industry was among the topics of discussion at the OTC Brasil 2017 Conference.

Standardization, common components and industrial processes have led to increased efficiency and lower costs across many sectors, but until recently the oil and gas industry has continued down the bespoke engineering route.

With the oil price relatively low, the whole industry still faces challenges. However, the surge of collaboration and optimization, in tandem with a general belief that an upturn is coming in 2018, gives the subsea sector some cause for cautious optimism, delegates were told at last week’s Subsea North East Conference & Exhibition in Newcastle, England.

Norway, like the rest of the offshore world, has spent the last two and a half years suffering through the worst downturn since it began producing oil more than 40 years ago. That appears to be over now.

Four of the biggest oil and gas operators in Australia have joined forces in an effort to combat an issue offshore Australia that is costing the industry hundreds of millions of dollars: replacing subsea equipment that fails prematurely.

The subsea sector will have to keep its overcoat on for a few more years, as the cold wind that has been blowing through the industry since the oil price crash of late 2014 is forecast to continue.

The future of the U.K. sector of the North Sea seems likely to be based on developing 350 marginal fields.

What is the future of the oil and gas segment in Brazil? That was the main question asked repeatedly during the Rio Oil & Gas 2016 conference in October.

Petrobras and Statoil have signed a memorandum of understanding that aims to evaluate their joint participation in future tenders and upstream collaboration in producing fields in the Campos and Santos basins.

Statoil ASA reduced the development cost for the first phase of its giant Johan Sverdrup project offshore Norway by 21% to NOK 99 billion (US$12 billion), while raising the full field development’s planned production capacity by unveiling an additional processing platform.

Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg has launched the country’s 24th oil licensing round for new exploration areas, mostly off Northern Norway.

Statoil has brought a relatively small two-well subsea tieback project onstream four months earlier than scheduled at half of the development cost originally envisaged.