Issue 2

In a special focus on deep sea production, we profile new tools to open up even the deepest depths of the ocean to exploration and reveal the technology behind some of the world’s deepest offshore oil rigs. We also investigate what the UK Government’s pledge to support the exploration of as yet undeveloped deepwater reserves in the North Sea could mean for companies operating in the area.

Moreover, we find out how today’s advanced exploration technologies can help operators to gain a better understanding of reservoirs and subsequently improve production rates. We also investigate how a new chemical compound dubbed ‘magnetic soap’ could revolutionise the clean-up of oil spills, and ask diving specialists what it takes to train commercial divers and ROV pilots for the most challenging offshore operations.

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In this issue

Into the Abyss
The race for new tools to open up the ocean is speeding up as offshore companies start delving into deeper deposits to compensate for a lack of new resources. We explore the technology behind some of the world’s deepest offshore oil rigs.
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Risky Business
Operators and consultants are well aware that conventional wells are drying up and remaining reserves are becoming more difficult to explore. A new UK Government initiative aims to support the exploration of currently undeveloped fields in the North Sea, which hold an estimated 20% of the UK’s remaining reserves.
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Oil’s Fateful Future
Oil is expected to run out in the next 50 years but as it gets more difficult to extract will the world’s growing population wait for access to buried oil or demand other, more reliable energy resources?
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No Stone Unturned
In an age of companies racing to find economical quantities of oil as demand outstrips supply, there is no room for error. However, gaining a clear picture of the contents and traits of a deposit is no mean feat. We investigate the advanced technology which will allow us to develop a better understanding of reservoirs.
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Magnetic Attraction
Oil response technology is always a hot topic in the offshore industry, especially after 2010’s Deepwater Horizon disaster. A new breakthrough in technology developed at Bristol University, known as magnetic soap is set to revolutionise oil spill clean-up operations in future.
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Going Deep
The Underwater Centre has returned commercial dive training to the offshore industry. UK general manager Steve Ham reveals the secrets behind the Centre’s success and why the profession is struggling to find a skilled workforce despite technological advances and career opportunities.
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Industry Project: Elgin-Franklin Offshore Field
We take a look at the Elgin-Franklin Offshore field located in the UK North Sea, including the natural gas leak that forced Total to shut down the Elgin platform in March 2012.
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Next issue preview

Understanding human factors is considered one of the biggest challenges faced by offshore safety experts. In the next issue we look at efforts being made to improve safety and ask how the role of the human factor has changed in light of recent incidents.

We also review territorial disputes and the competitive landscape in the Caspian Sea region, find out about Shell‘s plans to drill for oil in the Arctic, and explore what ever-improving seismic imaging techniques will mean for the oil industry.

Moreover, with subsea pipelines criss-crossing the Norwegian Continental Shelf for many thousands of miles we find out a robust maintenance regime is keeping the system flowing, and we investigate what is causing the current boost in offshore recruitment.

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