Technology and innovation as focus areas for UK oil & gas sector

At the Technology Showcase event in Aberdeen today (March 4), the Oil and Gas Technology Leadership Board will announce the top priority topics the UK oil and gas industry will focus on during 2015 to help it tackle the current challenges of rising operating costs, production at a plateau and a business environment adversely affected by the fall in oil price.

The Oil and Gas Technology Leadership Board (TLB) was set up to develop the technologies that will help maximise economic recovery of hydrocarbons from the UK continental shelf (UKCS). Its three priorities for this year will be technologies to improve recovery from small discoveries (small pools); innovations in well construction and advances in inspection methods to manage the integrity of ageing facilities.

Paul Warwick, of Talisman Energy Inc and chairman of the TLB, explains: “Our objective is to ensure that technology development is collaborative, focused on priority areas and suitable for multi-field application. While there are existing resources on the UKCS, there needs to be a fundamental change in the way we develop and deploy technology if the full potential of the remaining hydrocarbons is to be realised.

“The three priority topics represent areas where innovation is most urgently required. The ‘small pool’ activities will focus on improving recovery at a lower cost through better use of proven exploration and production technology and increased collaboration. Well construction costs can be radically reduced through promoting standardisation and using new techniques while remotely operated robotic devices could significantly increase the efficiency and safety of inspections aimed at monitoring the structural integrity of offshore installations.”

Oonagh Werngren, Oil & Gas UK’s operations director, adds: “Members of the TLB will be participating in today’s Technology Showcase, organised by the Industry Technology Facilitator (ITF) in partnership with Oil & Gas UK. This is an excellent opportunity for operators and large contractors to share insights into these  priority technology areas and other areas. The innovators themselves are also here showcasing the cutting-edge technologies which could contribute to a productive and sustainable long-term future for the UKCS.”

Image: Oil & Gas UK

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