Offshore Technology Focus: Issue 57

In this issue: The future of Total’s drilling project near the Amazon Reef, Trump’s plans to loosen US safety regulations, decommissioning the Brent field, new findings on Arctic spill response, cyber security for offshore installations, smart textiles for protective worker clothing, and more.


Total’s deepwater drilling project near the Amazon Reef has suffered a setback after a regional agency recommended the suspension of environmental licensing, which could force the companies to start a new environmental impact assessment. We take a look at the project’s potential and its impact on the surrounding coastline.

We also check in on the findings of the Arctic Oil Spill Response Technology Joint Industry Programme, and find out why the US Government is reviewing the Well Control Rule, which tightened requirements for blowout preventers as a result of failures during the BP disaster.

Plus, we check in on Shell’s progress with decommissioning the Brent Field, and speak to the developers of a new type of safety clothing designed to better protect offshore workers during emergencies such as helicopter accidents.

In this issue

A Tale of Two Discoveries
Total’s plans to drill near Brazil’s newly discovered Amazon Reef have suffered a setback after the federal prosecutor of the state of Amapá has recommended the suspension of environmental licensing for their planned deepwater project. Chris Lo reports.
Read the article.

Arctic Insights
After five years of research the Arctic Oil Spill Response Technology Joint Industry Programme (JIP) published its findings on improving Arctic spill response earlier this year. Heidi Vella finds out more from JIP programme manager Joseph Mullin.
Read the article.

Building Immunity
Siemens has partnered with Darktrace to bring the AI-driven Industrial Immune System to more customers in the oil and gas industry. Chris Lo finds out how the technology works in an offshore context.
Read the article.

Well Under Control?
US President Donald Trump has ordered a review of the Well Control Rule, which tightened requirements for blowout preventers on oil rigs as a result of failures found in the Deepwater Horizon explosion. Ross Davies asks whether there is any justification to loosen the standards.
Read the article.

Extra Protection
A former health and safety officer has developed a new smart textile to better protect offshore workers in emergencies. Molly Lempriere finds out more about the Centurion 3 fabric.
Read the article.

Brent Force
Shell has submitted its plans for the decommissioning of the iconic Brent field in the North Sea. Julian Turner talks to Duncan Manning, Shell’s asset manager for Brent, about environmental risks, tax relief on decommissioning oil and gas assets, and lessons learned from Brent Spar.
Read the article.

Next issue preview

China is planning to reform its oil and gas sector, giving the market a more decisive role and opening the door for more diverse ownership of large state-owned enterprises. We ask what the changes will mean for the industry and what the country hopes to achieve.

We also take a look at new discoveries offshore Trinidad & Tobago and speak to GE and Maersk about their new partnership exploring the use of GE’s digital asset management technology to improve drilling efficiency.

Plus, we find out how the Port of Rotterdam is using offshore wind energy to power its decommissioning operations, hear about a new method to track oil leaks in real time developed by the Norwegian Geotechnical Institute and Kjeller Innovation, and learn about the legal ins and outs of extending offshore construction contracts.

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