Many UK offshore operators loath to trial new technologies

Britain’s Oil & Gas Authority has published a new report which details work on technologies designed to maximize economic recovery of hydrocarbon resources across the UK continental shelf.

Offshore staff

LONDON – Britain’s Oil & Gas Authority (OGA) has published a new report which details work on technologies designed to maximize economic recovery of hydrocarbon resources across the UK continental shelf.

‘UKCS Technology Insights’ is based on technology plans submitted by various offshore operators under the OGA’s 2017 Stewardship Survey.

Dr. Andy Samuel, the authority’s chief executive, said: “It highlights where research and development is being focused and underlines the central role the supply chain is playing in delivering innovation.”

The study of more than 60 UKCS operators’ plans revealed:

  • Over 300 technologies reported, covering the entire asset lifecycle, from seismic to asset management and decommissioning
  • A perceived need for innovative solutions, with over 45% of the technologies listed as under development and not yet fully tested
  • Reluctance by 70% of operators to adopt technologies not fully proven in the basin
  • In 2016, UKCS operators spent £185 million ($262 million) on R&D and field pilots
  • A small group of ‘leading’ operators (11% of respondents) accounted for 85% of this investment, with a further 70% not investing in R&D at all and dependent on the supply chain for their technology needs.

OGA’s survey also found that many existing technologies could be more widely adopted, and that more collaboration among operators on developing novel technologies of common interest might be one way forward.

Dave Lynch, BP North Sea, vice president Reservoir Development and member of the Technology Leadership Board, said: “The role technology plays in our industry is more critical than ever, particularly as we seek to maximize economic recovery in a rapidly-changing and fast-paced digital landscape.

“BP, like all North Sea operators, needs to constantly improve how we apply technology to keep pace and deliver MER UK. The…report is a timely and important addition to helping achieve this.”

04/12/2018

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