Offshore Technology Focus: Issue 11

The legacy of the Piper Alpha disaster has changed offshore safety management and legislation in the North Sea beyond recognition. We chart the safety improvements that have been made in the 25 years since the worst accident in the history of the oil and gas industry.

We also ask how operators have improved risk management procedures in the wake of the BP Macondo spill, find out how software tools can help mitigate forecasting risks in a time of volatile crude oil prices and ask if mass redundancies in the UK armed forces could help plug a skills shortage in the oil and gas industry.

Moreover, we find out how natural sand injections could help locate additional sources of oil, and take a look at the impact of sea ice on Arctic drilling operations and new environmental sensing technology that aims to reduce the risk of damage caused by ice floes.

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In this issue

Risky Business
The BP Macondo spill highlighted the importance of comprehensive risk management procedures for oil and gas operators. We met A.T. Kearney’s Neal Walters to learn how the industry is hedging its bets.
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By GlobalData

Managing Volatility
Significant price swings in crude oil put profits and operations in jeopardy. Lauren LaFronz of Triple Point Technology looks at the causes and the need for technology to mitigate risk.
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Sourcing from Sand
Research from the University of Aberdeen explains how sand injections can pinpoint additional reserves, with implications beyond the Earth’s subsurface. We ask Professor Andrew Hurst about the technology’s potential.
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The Cold War
Ice floes pose a growing threat to offshore drilling, recently stopping Shell’s Arctic operations. We talk to Professor Ola M. Johannessen of the Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Centre about monitoring and prediction.
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Piper Alpha’s Legacy
The 1988 Piper Alpha disaster shocked the world and changed North Sea safety management and legislation beyond recognition. Offshore Technology Focus charts the safety improvements that have taken place since.
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Easing the Transition
Can mass redundancies in the UK armed forces help plug a skills shortage in the oil and gas industry? We ask Magnus Jeffrey, ex-serviceman and current oil and gas engineer.
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Marulk Gas Field, Norway
The Marulk gas field is located in the Norwegian Sea about 30km southwest of the Norne field.
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Next issue preview

The referendum on Scottish independence in 2014 could have widespread repercussions in the UK’s North Sea oil & gas industry, much of which is based off the Scottish coast. We find out how the outcome could affect both exploration and licences in what could very likely become the Scottish North Sea.

We also explore the technologies that could help prevent and contain environmental damage if offshore pipelines are damaged by severe weather, and take a look at chemicals being used to retrieve trapped oil from hard to reach places inside a reservoir.

Moreover we take a look at the potential of oil and gas exploration in Somalia, and find out how training efforts are aiming to close the skills gap in subsea engineering as oil and gas operations move into deeper waters.

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