SPE launches new offshore drilling seminar

The Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) Aberdeen has added a brand new UK-first event to its 2014-15 session, specifically targeted to the oil and gas drilling sector.

‘Drilling Automation – do I need some too?’ is a full day event which will take place on 2 October at Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre. The event is expected to attract around 100 experts – both SPE members and non-members – working across all offshore drilling disciplines.

The seminar will look at how automation may be the solution that the oil and gas industry needs to optimise production and extend the economic lives of brownfield sites. Progress to date will be a key focus, before turning to the skills that are needed for continuous development of the drilling industry amongst other factors which will impact its future.

The keynote address will come from Oil & Gas UK’s Technology Consultant, Dr. Andy Leonard, who spent 30 years working in the upstream sector and most recently held the position of Vice President BP Cambridge. He is an honorary professor of geology at the University of Aberdeen and currently consults within the oil and gas sector, focusing on geology, reservoir development and management and technology leadership.

Dr Andy Leonard, Oil & Gas UK’s Technology Consultant

Dr. Leonard said: “A major part of this seminar will be drawing comparisons from the military, space, medical and other similar industries which have embraced automation. This has meant reduced risk to personnel and has improved access to hostile environments, both major factors within the oil and gas industry.

“The UKCS is facing significant challenges in accessing and economically recovering the remaining resources in the basin. It is particularly challenged by cost, small and difficult pool sizes, mature facilities and, of course, the requirement to be safe. Technologies for automation, remote monitoring/ control and robotics have, with some notable exceptions, not made significant in-roads in to the oil and gas business. The advances of these technologies in the drilling world present a great opportunity and could lead the rest of the industry forward.”

Presentations will be given by a number of major drilling operators and service companies including Schlumberger, NOV, Halliburton, BP and Baker Hughes.

SPE Aberdeen Chairman Ross Lowdon said: “There is a huge challenge to advance drilling efficiency and an industry step change, such as moving to a more autonomous approach, is needed.

“There are many lessons to be learned from our peers and other similar industries. We need to act upon these lessons now, so that we can build best practice into our oil and gas drilling processes and in turn accept the challenge to maximise oil recovery.

“SPE Aberdeen is recognised throughout the upstream oil and gas industry for the role that our events play, encouraging innovation and being quick to react to the pressing issues and emerging trends in the sector. This event is the first of its kind in the UK and we hope to see it become a platform for meaningful industry discussion.”

Press Release, September 16, 2014

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