The US Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement has concluded a review of offshore safety regulations in response to President Donald Trump’s order to reduce “unnecessary burden on industry”. We ask whether the resulting proposals can uphold safety standards while stripping down safety guidelines.

We also take a look at the progress of the Zohr natural gas field project and its potential to help Egypt overcome its energy crisis, speak to the director of the UK’s TechX technology accelerator, which aims to support innovation by smaller companies, and find out how 3D modelling software helped to extend the life of Shell’s Leman Alpha project.

Plus, we explore the challenges of repairing critical oil and gas infrastructure and look into the controversial suggestion that decommissioned platforms should be left in the UK North Sea rather than being removed completely.

In this issue

Zohr gas field: Egypt’s megaproject holds a lot of promise

Eni’s Zohr natural gas field began production at the end of 2017, taking advantage of a huge reserve in the Mediterranean Sea. Molly Lempriere asks, could this supergiant turn things around for Egypt’s struggling gas sector and bring the country closer to energy self-sufficiency?

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Will changes to US offshore regulation compromise safety?

The US Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement is proposing changes to offshore safety rules in response to President Trump’s order to reduce “unnecessary burden on industry”. Julian Turner asks the bureau’s press secretary Greg Julian whether it is possible to increase both production and safety.

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TechX: Inside the UK oil & gas industry’s new tech accelerator

The UK’s Oil & Gas Technology Centre recently launched a tech accelerator called TechX. Director David Millar explains to Molly Lempriere how it works, and why now is the perfect time for the oil and gas industry to embrace technology.

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Extending the life of offshore assets with 3D modelling

Tasked with extending the life of Shell’s Leman Alpha offshore project, Pinnacle Consulting Engineers turned to Trimble’s Tekla Structures 3D modelling technology to speed up and streamline the process. Heidi Vella finds out how modelling software can help extend the life of ageing oil and gas fields.

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Forties pipeline closure under the spotlight

The closure of the North Sea’s Forties pipeline in December following a hairline crack shook the energy market. Ross Davies asks if more could have been done in response.

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Decommissioning North Sea platforms: should we let sleeping giants lie?

With massive decommissioning costs on the horizon in the UK North Sea, University of Aberdeen academic Tom Baxter has argued that there is no reason to completely remove offshore oil platforms. Given the costs involved, Chris Lo asks whether it would make sense to leave some decommissioned assets in the sea.

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Next issue preview

The UK Oil & Gas Technology Centre has invested in three robotic technologies to help transform pressure vessel inspection on offshore rigs. We find out how the systems being developed could help reduce costs and improve safety in this vital task that currently requires full shutdown and manual inspection.

Also in the next issue, we take a look at the tension between Cyprus and Turkey over oil and gas deposits in a contested region off the island’s coast, take a look inside the growing US oil production market, and speak to former Russian Energy Minister Igor Yusufov about what’s next for OPEC.

Plus, we take a look at a new Norwegian-developed well-sealing technology using “artificial” magma to fuse infrastructure to surrounding rock, and track the growing numbers of climate change-related lawsuits against major oil companies.

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