The February issue of Offshore Technology Focus is available to read on all devices now.

A brand-new, £20m subsea test centre has just been launched in Aberdeen by offshore engineering specialists Balmoral . Constructed in less than two years, companies will now be able to put their innovative technologies to the test in the centre’s 23 vessels. We find out more about the challenges of constructing the subsea test centre and the possibilities it offers for Aberdeen.

We also speak to offshore survey company iSurvey about its recent geophysical seabed survey in the German Baltic Sea to support the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project, take a look at the world’s first fully automated oil and gas platform, which has no facilities and is controlled remotely from a field centre on land, and find out how the industry can attract more women from the author of a new book that encourages more girls to pursue offshore careers.

Finally, we consider the truth behind recent optimistic data confirming that significant gains in long-term production in the UK are within reach, and speak to oilfield services specialist Rawwater about why accurately simulating downfield conditions is vital for understanding how microbiological activity can affect an oil reservoir.

In this issue

Surveying the Baltic Sea for Nord Stream 2
Offshore surveyor iSurvey recently completed a 40km seabed study in the German Baltic Sea as part of the international Nord Stream 2 pipeline project. Heidi Vella spoke to the company’s business development manager, Grant Aitchison, to discuss the logistics.
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Inside Balmoral’s new state of the art subsea facility
A brand new, £20m subsea test centre has been launched in Aberdeen by offshore engineering specialists Balmoral. The company’s engineering and projects director, Fraser Milne, speaks to Molly Lempriere about the challenges of constructing the centre.
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Inside the first fully automated offshore platform
The world’s first fully automated oil and gas platform has been launched in the North Sea by Norwegian energy giant Equinor. The Oseberg H cost £606m, and has no living quarters or even a toilet on it. Molly Lempriere considers whether this is the future of the industry.
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UK North Sea outlook: the truth behind the numbers
New research from the University of Aberdeen confirms that significant gains in long-term production on the UK Continental Shelf are within reach of the industry. But optimistic numbers don’t tell the whole story, as Chris Lo finds out.
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The Oil Industry’s Best Kept Secret: advice from women in oil and gas
As the UK offshore industry embarks on an unprecedented recruitment drive, we should expect to see a more diverse workforce. A new book sheds light on a rewarding and fulfilling career in oil and gas – irrespective of one’s gender. Ross Davies finds out more from author Katy Heidenreich.
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Digging into the data on microbiological souring
Oilfield services specialist Rawwater has accrued three decades worth of data on microbiological oilfield souring, using physical reservoir simulation and modelling to make forecasts on the propensity of oil to turn sour. How has the data been applied, and why is it crucial for the offshore oil industry to forecast souring levels? Talal Husseini reports.
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Cygnus Alpha: the platform powering UK homes
Based in the southern North Sea, the Cygnus Alpha installation has been producing enough gas to heat the equivalent of 1.5 million UK homes since December 2016. In this interactive feature, we discover more about the modern offshore platform and the workers who call it home.
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Next issue preview

The Irish Offshore Operators’ Association (IOOA) has published a report on the potential value of a domestic oil and gas industry to Ireland, putting the value at €11bn in tax revenues, as well as more than 1,500 jobs. We find out more about the benefits and challenges of developing Ireland’s offshore sector.

We also look into the falling costs of offshore decommissioning, speak to Baker Hughes about its new suite of subsea technologies, and consider how economic concerns and government upheaval in Venezuela are impacting the country’s oil and gas industry.

Also in this issue, we chart the highs and lows of OPEC through an interactive timeline, hear more from BP ’s Tamara Holmgren who is encouraging more women to pursue careers in STEM and the oil and gas industry, and profile a new technology being used by Shell to gather real-time data to evaluate the impact of operations and environmental conditions of FPSOs.

Finally, we take a visual tour around Diamond Offshore’s Ocean GreatWhite, the largest semi-submersible drilling rig in the world, after it arrived at Kishorn Port in Scotland earlier this year.