Offshore Technology Focus: Issue 55

In this issue: Improving project delivery on the UKCS, OPEC’s waning power, tax breaks for the UK, innovation in offshore accommodation, predictive analytics for production surveillance, saving skills in the North Sea, and more


Equatorial Guinea is seeking to revive its oil sector by applying for membership to OPEC. For decades such a move made obvious sense, but today OPEC’s powers appear to be waning. We ask whether joining the group is still as attractive a prospect as it was a decade or even a year ago.

Also in this issue, we ask whether the UK’s tax breaks for North Sea operators will be enough to keep the industry afloat, and look into the UK Oil & Gas Authority’s recommendations for improving profitability through better project management in the region.

Plus, we find out how predictive analytics can be used to improve oil and gas production surveillance, explore the requirements and options for offshore worker accommodation, and look at new ideas for workforce management on the UKCS.

In this issue

Inside OPEC
Equatorial Guinea is looking to revive its struggling oil sector by applying for membership of OPEC. Today, however, the cartel is more focused on controlling supply than unlocking new reserves. Julian Turner asks whether joining still as attractive a prospect as it was a decade or even a year ago.
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Scant Relief?
The UK Government has promised support for the country’s oil and gas industry in the form of tax breaks for decommissioning and funding for new ‘disruptive’ technologies. Julian Turner asks Mike Tholen, policy director at Oil & Gas UK, if the proposals are enough to keep the sector afloat.
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Improving Project Delivery
A UK Oil & Gas Authority review of new projects in the UK North Sea has found that since 2011, only 25% of projects were delivered on time, and budgets were stretched by an average of 35%. Chris Lo asks what lessons can be learned from these findings.
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Boosting Performance with Big Data
Data has the potential to transform operations in a number of ways. Grant Eggleton, vice president for global production solutions at P2 Energy Solutions, tells us how the use of predictive analytics can improve oil and gas production surveillance.
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Home Away from Home
Accommodation for offshore workers needs to provide comfort and flexibility while meeting strict safety requirements and being able to withstand harsh operating environments. Molly Lempriere finds out more about the challenges of providing offshore accommodation.
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Saving Skills on the UKCS
Mass layoffs and job insecurity are taking a heavy toll on offshore workers in the North Sea, and the UK Government has struggled to offer appropriate support. Chris Lo asks whether a fledgling employee loan scheme in the vein of professional football leagues could help.
Read the article.

Next issue preview

Siemens and ABB are developing competing systems to take the offshore oil and gas platform underwater, with a completely submerged concept that would transform platforms into unmanned, self-sufficient oil and gas extraction factories. The operational and safety benefits of the technology are clear, but how do these systems work, and who will be the first to make the breakthrough?

We also speak to GE about its plans to improve the cost and operational efficiency of rigs with data analytics, look at Geokinetics’ AquaVib technology which promises a safer alternative to seismic airguns, and find out about new deepwater facilities being developed for Ghana. Plus, we profile Aberdeen’s role at the centre of UK oil and find out why the API is clashing with the US government about the Jones Act, which it claims could threaten jobs and cut oil and gas production.

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