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Operators and innovators unite to reverse production decline and extend life in the North Sea

Tuesday, Nov 06, 2012

ITF’s fifth annual Technology Showcase welcomed its largest number of delegates and exhibitors at Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre on 1 November, 2012.

The event, in partnership with the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and PILOT, tackled the most pressing challenges in the industry from production optimisation through to decommissioning.  For the first time, the showcase facilitated meetings between operators and innovators to discuss face-to-face the possible solutions to the industry’s most pertinent problems.

The event boasted 60 exhibitors with more than 450 delegates representing around 236 companies from across the globe.

ITF Director, Melfort Campbell is urging attendees to turn talk into action in the drive to solve technology challenges across the oil and gas industry worldwide.  “The Showcase is very much a demand-led event, with operators identifying their needs and technology developers supplying their innovative solutions.  The demand to deliver knowledge and information across all businesses and sectors is crucial in order to drive forward development, boost production and significantly improve the industry’s performance and capabilities as a whole.

“There is a wealth of talent in this industry, and ingenuity over the decades has allowed access to ever deeper and more hostile environments, but we need to do more.  The urgency to explore and source more challenging reserves requires the most cutting-edge seismic and reservoir characterization technology, bringing it to the surface also entails the most advanced well construction and drilling applications and tools.  Ensuring the industry can sustain asset integrity and life extension and deliver cost effective decommissioning are also key areas identified by operators as requiring technology know-how and expertise.

“Working in collaboration and sharing intelligence can only increase competition and drive the industry forward to secure supply for the future.”

Trevor Garlick, BP Regional President North Sea, presented the keynote speech of the event.  He stated that, like everyone, he wants to slow the sharp decline in production rates in the UKCS and sees new and improved technology as vital to maximising recovery.

“The biggest challenge for the industry is to arrest production decline – and one of the ways we can do this is to recover more from our assets.  We estimate average recovery rates from North Sea reservoirs to be around 40%, meaning we leave more in the ground than we recover; I want this to change.

“We are investing at record levels – this year BP will invest around $3billion of capital in the UK and Norway.  But we are also divesting assets that are not core to our future.  Focusing the portfolio is key to the strategy.

“ITF’s Technology Showcase proves those working in the industry are determined to extend life in the basin and want to see more collaboration and innovation to make this happen.”

Martyn MacDonnell, Business Development Director with Northern Star award winners in R&D, Paradigm Flow Services said: “The Showcase has been successful, especially meeting directly with the operators and understanding their appetite and interest in new technology developments, particularly for maximising production and extending life-of-field.

“The industry faces a challenging time going forward.  In order to maximise remaining potential, current technology and applications need greater support and investment to meet the demands.  Paradigm is stepping up to meet these challenges.  Our pipe-pulse technology provides our customers significant cost savings in removing production blockages, therefore increasing revenue and recovery.  Our deluge and firewater remediation services also provide a cost-effective life-of-field solution for these critical safety systems.  Ultimately, what underpins our innovation is the drive to improve safety and reduce business risk to our industry colleagues.”

Gordon Winton graduated from Heriot Watt University with an MSc with Distinction in Energy.  After spending 17 years with BAE Systems most recently in Fort Worth, Texas, he has returned to his academic roots as a Business Development Executive with the University’s Institute of Petroleum Engineering.  He said the Showcase has opened the door to many opportunities and industry collaborations.  “It’s an excellent forum to interface with industry players and have direct access to the latest tools and technologies.

“The role of academia cannot be underplayed in the industry’s aim to source new technologies to increase production.  The university has always been at the forefront of R&D and can provide academic consultants to companies tackling the most intricate and complex issues.  Our highly educated and motivated post-graduate students also benefit from in-house experience with the industry’s most ambitious companies providing a fresh outlook on what is often an age old problem.  We are incredibly grateful to ITF for their continued support.”

Andy Skinne, is UK Business Development Manager and one of the founders of Red Spider.  The company provides downhole intervention and completion technology, and offers operators innovative and cost-effective methods to complete well activity and reduce risk.  He said the ITF Technology Showcase is a major event for the firm.

“We have been coming along to the ITF Showcase for a number of years and though it has grown in size and stature, it retains its ambiance as an important gathering for like-minded operators and developers determined to make a difference in the industry.

“Not only does it outline the main technical challenges, it also gives technology developers like us the chance to discuss specific requirements directly with operators so that our innovation solutions meet their demands effectively and efficiently.  The ITF process has been hugely successful for Red Spider, having been involved in a number of significant projects with major global operators and we look forward to the next show.”

Source: ITF

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