Oil majors buy-in and £1.6 million projects approved by Technology Centre

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Just four months since its launch in February 2017, the Oil & Gas Technology Centre (OGTC) has approved investment of more than £1.6 million in new projects to accelerate the development and deployment technologies to transform the industry.

Major operators – Total, Chevron and Nexen – have become members of multiple solution centres, while information technology firms Resulting and Kippitech have joined the OGTC Digital Solution Centre. Subsea integrity specialist, 1CSI, has signed up to the Asset Integrity Solution Centre and subsea technology company, Exnics, has joined the Small Pools Solution Centre.

A project to reduce the cost of inspecting and maintaining offshore infrastructure by 50% by 2021 has been co-funded to develop a new generation of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and the latest ultrasonic technology to help manage asset integrity.

OGTC is also working with Air Control Energy to deliver a step change in the capability and functionality of UAVs for the remote inspection of oil and gas facilities. These advanced drones could be 20 times faster than traditional inspection techniques and reduce costs by 50% in comparison to rope access methods.

The technology center is also working with TRAC Oil & Gas to develop a new electromagnetic method to inspect corroded pipework under insulation and composite wrap materials. This innovative solution would enable companies to monitor the condition of hidden pipework, saving time and money compared to current approaches.

Using technology to transform the construction and operation of wells could reduce costs by up to 50%. To support this, they co-funding a project with Deepwater Oil Tools to develop a special articulated joint called ArticuLockTM, which could enable drilling operations in rough weather conditions, saving tens of millions of pounds each year.

These new projects come at time when companies across the sector are joining the OGTC solution centres – asset integrity, well construction, small pools, digital and decommissioning – to collaborate on projects, share knowledge and identify solutions to industry challenges.

Colette Cohen, Chief Executive of the Oil & Gas Technology Centre said:

“I’m pleased and proud to welcome our first members to the Oil & Gas Technology Centre and given the significant level of interest in our activities, I’m confident many more will follow in the coming months.

“Since our launch in February 2017, we’ve screened almost 200 technologies and have an excellent pipeline of opportunities, with operating companies now facilitating field trials on the UKCS.

“It’s exciting to approve investment of £1.6 million in our first three projects and we look forward to helping these innovative companies take their concepts from early stage development through to deployment in the oil field.”

OGTC has issued its first ‘Call for Ideas’ to transform well plug and abandonment which closed with 48 potential solutions submitted. Two further calls are ongoing, seeking ideas for using robotics to enhance pressure vessel and tank integrity, and for unlocking the 225 marginal discoveries in small pools across the UKCS.

Launched in February 2017 with £180 million funding from the UK and Scottish Governments, the Oil & Gas Technology Centre is a not-for-profit, research and knowledge company, which aims to unlock the full potential of the UK North Sea, anchor the supply chain in North-East Scotland, and make sure the region continues to be a great place to live, work and invest for generations to come.

Scottish Secretary David Mundell said:

“The fantastic progress of the Oil and Gas Technology Centre underlines the transformative impact of our ambitious Aberdeen city deal. This shows what can be done when Scotland’s two governments work together to deliver opportunities across the country. The funding provided by the UK, Scottish and local governments is driving innovation and securing skilled jobs in our vital North Sea industry.”

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