Offshore Technology Focus: Issue 52

In this issue: Opportunities offshore Somalia, a look inside Total's South Pars development, Scottish skills for Mexico's growing industry, the latest in subsea robotics, the next ten years of North Sea decommissioning, and more.


New research has confirmed significant hydrocarbons potential offshore Somalia and the country has announced its first licencing round, but the threat of piracy and geopolitical instability remain significant risks to investors. We explore the future potential of Somalia’s offshore sector.

We also take a look inside Total’s massive South Pars gas project in Iran, find out how Scottish expertise is helping to develop skills for Mexico’s oil and gas industry, and catch up with a Kongsberg and Statoil-backed project to develop a snake shaped robot for inspection and intervention on the seabed.

Plus, we get an outlook into the next ten years of North Sea decommissioning in the UK and Norwegian market, find out how offshore wind energy could transform the European energy market, and explore engineering solutions for proofing offshore platforms against earthquakes.

In this issue

Exploring Somalia’s Potential
The government of Somalia is keen to exploit the country’s significant hydrocarbon resources, but is the threat of piracy and geopolitical instability too high to nurture an offshore industry? Heidi Vella finds out more.
Read the article.

Cautious Optimism for Iran
France’s Total is the first foreign firm to sign a deal for the development of Iran’s South Pars gas field since Western sanctions against the country were loosened. Heidi Vella asks, where will the project go from here and which challenges does it face?
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British Skills for Mexico’s Growth
Scotland’s Robert Gordon University is building a skills development programme to help Mexico’s oil and gas industry prepare for a new round of licences. Molly Lempriere finds out more from Paul de Leeuw, director of the university’s Oil and Gas Institute.
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The Great European Energy Shift
The next decade could see a European energy scene transformed by offshore wind power as major oil and gas companies move on to new business opportunities. Nnamdi Anyadike explores the potential of offshore renewables.
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Autonomous Intervention
Eelume, a spin-off from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, is collaborating with Kongsberg Maritime and Statoil on a sea snake robot to perform subsea inspection, maintenance and repair tasks. Julian Turner talks to CEO Arne Kjørsvik about taking autonomous intervention vehicles to the next level.
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All Shook Up
Earthquakes can pose a significant risk to oil and gas operations, but how can operators protect rigs located in seismically active areas? Molly Lempriere takes a look at some of the engineering solutions that can help.
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Vital Statistics
Oil & Gas UK’s first ever survey of the UK and Norwegian decommissioning markets reports steady growth despite low oil prices continuing to challenge the economics of mature North Sea assets. Julian Turner analyses the key trends.
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Next issue preview

The exploration agreements signed with Total, Eni and BP are just the latest examples in flurry of activity offshore Egypt, following last year’s news of major gas discoveries by Eni and BP. Developing offshore hydrocarbons could be a good move for the country, which is struggling to meet domestic demand as access to foreign imports has dropped in the wake of its political troubles. We find out more about what’s happening offshore Egypt.

We also investigate whether Statoil is turning its back on fossil fuels, find out why BP has halted its controversial plan to drill for oil in the Great Australian Bight, and review a new study into the environmental impacts of decommissioning. Plus, we take a look at Oil & Gas UK’s new guidelines for aerial drone operations in the North Sea, and investigate issues of helicopter safety following a recent incident on the West Franklin Platform in the North Sea.

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