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NEWS & EVENTS
 
 

NEWS & EVENTS



        30th






30th Anniversary Year


Chairman's Speech

Distinguished guests,

It gives me great pleasure to welcome you all this morning to the first Economic Times - Dolphin Offshore's seminar titled "Man & Machine Underwater: Safety, Sustainability & Advances in Underwater Technology."

I would like to start by thanking our eminent guest Vice Admiral Sanjeev Bhasin, C-in-C Western Naval Command for honoring us with his presence here today. Vice Admiral Bhasin heads one of the most strategically important commands in the Indian Navy and we are reminded of the security dimension of India's offshore development program by the tragic events that happened in this very hotel last November.

I would also like to extend a warm welcome to our distinguished Chief Guest, Mr Sudhir Vasudeva, Director (Offshore) ONGC, whose long innings with the organization has involved planning and management of some of its largest development projects. Indeed, I wish to acknowledge the valuable guidance and support that he, his colleagues and predecessors - some of whom are here today - have extended to us over the years to bring us to where we are today.

As I looked at our list of reputed, award winning speakers today, I could not have imagined that this seminar - which began as a modest idea to mark Dolphin Offshore's 30 anniversary - would attract such media and industry interest. I thank the National Maritime Foundation for their participation in the planning of this seminar and all of you, from far and near, who have added to the value of our deliberations by your participation here today. Thirty years ago there was not a single qualified Indian Offshore diver. It fills my heart with pride to se Indian divers working in global companies as supervisors, superintendents and operations managers. They are sought all over the world, just as our IT specialists are. I am glad to see quite a few of them participating in the seminar today.

Let me not forget to mention our media partners, the Economic Times who are providing a national platform for dissemination of our seminar, both through their website and the newspaper. There is so much growing public interest in the development potential of the Indian Ocean as a source of finite and renewable energy and a repository of important minerals and marine wealth for the future. We believe this is the last frontier for development after space - and India cannot afford to lag behind in the next great revolution after IT.

Indeed, it is my hope that today's proceedings will not only be useful to us but also to others within and beyond the sector so that we look forward to this as an annual collaborative event. I know from personal experience how important such gatherings are for all aspects of our business.

In fact, I would not be standing here before you had it not been for the opportunity provided by a similar gathering, the OTC, which takes place annually in Houston, TX, USA. It was there in 1978 that, as a newly retired naval officer, I met John Harter who is here with us today and Ken Wallace of Taylor Diving and began the adventure of offshore diving and underwater engineering with Dolphin Offshore. The last 30 years in this industry have been the most rewarding experience of my life. You can read about the Dolphin story in the booklet that is in your folder.

We all understand the value of networking and information gathering provided by events like OTC, that's why ONGC's Petrotech, Oil India Development Ltd, the CII, the National Skill Development Board and others have important seminar programs. I would like to see us go beyond that by encouraging all these organizations with the support of ET in developing our own equivalent of the OTC for all of Asia. Given the geo-strategic importance of the Indian Ocean, I have no doubt it would attract interested parties from the Middle East, South East Asia and beyond.

We all understand the value of networking and information gathering provided by events like OTC, that's why ONGC's Petrotech, Oil India Development Ltd, the CII, the National Skill Development Board and others have important seminar programs. I would like to see us go beyond that by encouraging all these organizations with the support of ET in developing our own equivalent of the OTC for all of Asia. Given the geo-strategic importance of the Indian Ocean, I have no doubt it would attract interested parties from the Middle East, South East Asia and beyond.

Ladies and Gentlemen, our industry stands at a cross roads today on so many fronts. As we venture into deeper waters to extract hydrocarbon resources we are faced with the global impacts of climate change on the oceans and increasing concerns for safety of men and machines. As countries begin pouring huge resources into clean, renewable energy solutions how long will it be before oil is no longer an attractive fuel? The oceans hold the secrets of mankind's past …but could they also hold the key to our future? The safe and sustainable development of our deep sea hydrocarbon and mineral assets requires the focusing of our best scientific minds. Identifying the challenges requiring technological solutions, investing in emerging technologies -it is time for us to put this dialogue into action.

Finally, India has a huge and young workforce and few industries offer the scale of salaries that divers and underwater technicians command. Just as IT technicians from India powered Silicon Valley, the next wave of technicians who unlock the wealth of the oceans could also come from India with some planning. Dolphin Offshore has begun work on training divers in house but I would welcome wider participation in a discussion on training world class underwater professionals on our shores. There is so much we can do together - and when you get to my age, you suddenly discover there is so little time. In fact, I have given up my golf and am prohibited from driving so as not to endanger the lives of others. Each time I visit General Mathews, my doctor, he adds a few more pills to my diet. So, ladies and gentlemen, let us not waste time, let's grab the moment, starting today.

I hope I have given you some food for thought and a wider perspective in which to appreciate our discussions today. Let me, without further ado, invite our next speaker, Vice Admiral Bhasin to make the Keynote Address.
Jai Hind.

 

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