Offshore Technology Focus: Issue 53

In this issue: Opportunities in Egypt, Statoil’s post-oil strategy, BP’s exit from the Great Australian Bight, new guidelines for drone operations, helicopter safety in the North Sea, decommissioning challenges, and more.


The use of drones in the industry is growing rapidly, presenting challenges for regulators. We take a look at Oil & Gas UK’s new guidelines for the safe use of aerial drones and hear about their development from Cyberhawk, a company which was heavily involved in the process.

Also in this issue, we find out whether a flurry of new offshore activity in Egypt can help the country recover from debt and political instability and what the potential rewards for investors are. We also investigate whether Statoil is turning its back on fossil fuels with its new strategy focused on renewable energy, and analyse BP’s decision to halt its controversial plan to drill for oil in the Great Australian Bight.

Plus, we investigate new concerns about helicopter safety that have arisen from recent incident in the North Sea, and ask whether complete removal is always the best option for decommissioning.

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In this issue

Egypt's Opportunity
Egypt’s recent signing of three exploration agreements with Total, Eni and BP are good news for the country as it recovers from debt and instability. Heidi Vella explores resources and business opportunities offshore Egypt.
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Green vs Black
Statoil has curbed or halted new investments in fossil fuel projects while upping its stake in the renewable energy sector, specifically offshore wind power. Heidi Vella takes a look at Statoil’s business strategy.
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BP: Playing it Safe
BP has dropped its controversial plans to drill for oil in the Great Australian Bight, citing purely commercial factors. Chris Lo reviews the strategic U-turn and asks what's next for the company.
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Work in Progress
Oil & Gas UK has published a new set of guidelines outlining the safe use of aerial drones. Julian Turner talks to Cyberhawk founder Malcolm Connolly to find out how they were developed with the help of UAV operators.
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Grounded in Reality
Helicopter safety is in the spotlight again after Sikorsky recalled all S-92 aircraft worldwide for safety checks following an incident on the West Franklin platform in the North Sea in December. Julian Turner looks at the subsequent AAIB investigation and concerns about transport capacity.
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Without a Trace
As operations in the North Sea enter a new phase and widespread decommissioning begins, can we expect all oil rigs to be removed completely? Molly Lempriere takes a look at the alternatives.
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Next issue preview

US President Trump’s cabinet picks include a host of oil industry veterans and allies, including former ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson, climate change sceptic Scott Pruitt and oil investor Carl Icahn. With the oil lobby pushing for more access to offshore oil licences and regulatory reform, we ask whether this could be the cooperative cabinet that the industry has been hoping for.

We also report from the Floating LNG 2017 conference, and take a look at Chrysaor, which became the biggest North Sea player following a purchase of Shell’s assets.

Plus, we investigate what Russia’s new tax proposals could mean for the country’s offshore industry, find out how Statoil is planning to extend the lifespan of its Gullfaks field by 30 years, and look into new efforts by the Energy Institute and medical experts to tackle substance abuse on oil and gas rigs.

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