ITF panel examines barriers to technology implementation

Industry should look at the benefits of emerging technology rather than just costs to break one barrier to technology implementation, according to a recent ITF seminar.

Offshore staff

ABERDEEN, UK – Industry should look at the benefits of emerging technology rather than just costs to break one barrier to technology implementation, according to a recent ITF seminar.

The call for a longer-term industry view of technology development was made by Neil Poxon, managing director of ITF, technology facilitator for the global oil and gas industry.

“For many operators the cost justification needs to be there before they offer funding and trial opportunities and others simply don’t want to use unproven technology in case it leads to additional costs to resolve any difficulties.

“There are however a number of solutions which can overcome some of these obstacles. Service companies and operators have a role to play in this process by working more closely with one another to identify their technology needs and helping those solutions through the development process.

“Operators should also be encouraged to focus on the value new technologies can add to their projects rather than looking at cost reduction measures.”

Realistic time frames and projected capital requirements are two requirements for project success from the investing viewpoint.

“Investing money early and understanding the current and future needs of your target market can also help to avoid delays further down the line,” said Gregg Herrera, a partner at Energy Ventures. “Projects also stand a greater chance of success if the development team has industry recognized personnel who bring credibility and good contacts with them.”

Personnel issues can contribute to slow technology uptake, too.

“We have also found that personnel changes during a development project can be problematic as it causes delays and replacement employees can often have other priorities and interests,” said Emma Perfect, managing director and chief scientific officer of LUX Assure.

Looking at immediate cost savings rather than deployment of new technology to prevent or manage future issues also hampers roll-out, she said.

Looking from the operator’s viewpoint, Stuart Brown, global well intervention theme lead at Shell, said both operators and service companies can help by educating employees about available technology and also by focusing on technology with the greatest returns.

10/03/2011

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