Unite, the largest trade union in the UK and Ireland, has criticised the UK Government’s new Oil and Gas Workforce Plan, which was published in July and focuses on how the government will help British offshore workers find new employment. Is the plan really “woefully inadequate”, as Unite has described it, or is it a necessary step in an industry that is facing huge cuts and low oil prices?
The second stage of one of the world’s largest offshore gas projects, Shah Deniz, is expected to start producing oil and gas in 2018. It’s considered amongst BP’s most significant commercial successes and is likely to further Azerbaijan’s success in the petroleum industry, but will a turbulent oil environment hinder the new project’s success?
Researchers at York University in Toronto, Canada have been looking at how oil companies in Newfoundland counter the impacts of small-scale oil spills, which can have detrimental effects on seabirds. Despite this, offshore operators are failing to monitor or track these spills properly because the legal requirements in the area are murky. York University associate professor Dr Gail Fraser, who has been looking into ways to address this issue, tells us more.
Offshore platforms near the Adriatic coast were the focus of a politically-charged national referendum in April, when the Italian public were asked to vote on whether or not to stop renewing drilling licences close to shore. Despite environmentalist support, turnout was not sufficient to make the vote valid, but as the first referendum of its kind it’s a powerful indicator that energy issues are becoming ever more potent in the public political debate.
Norway’s government has opened its Arctic waters to oil and gas development in a landmark decision that has enraged environmentalists. Politicians see the licences as one of the biggest opportunities for the country’s energy sector in decades, but will oil companies want to invest when there is so much opposition?
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An innovative new technology from Fishbones AS called multilateral well stimulation could provide a more efficient and cost-effective alternative to fracturing. With challenges in the North Sea always requiring new technologies, could this be a valuable solution to increasing output?
A few miles off the coast of California, the Eureka oil rig is thriving with marine life, and it’s not the only one. Keeping decommissioned oil rigs in the water is a growing trend, giving rise to some of the richest marine ecosystems on the planet. Could this be an answer to the environmental and economic difficulties oil companies face with the decommissioning of rigs?
Using cognitive computing technologies developed by IBM, Repsol has found new ways to match the power of machines with the decision-making qualities of their masters. Santiago Quesada, director of exploration and production technology at the Repsol Technology Centre, explains how the two companies are working together to facilitate human-computer collaboration in the oil & gas industry.
Oil and gas companies are facing low prices, and so have to ensure costs for maintenance are kept to a minimum. Permasense has launched a new solution to help combat the problem of erosion from sand, thus providing long-term cost savings, but will the sensors initially take off?
In a low oil price environment, companies are turning to big data and other digital technologies to cut the costs of exploration and production. Oil and gas industries have to balance out the financial cost of investing in innovative ideas with the risk of missing out on the latest technologies.