The latest offshore licensing round for the North Sea has been significant in the number of smaller new players bidding for blocks, a move that appears all the more significant as big players such as Total are putting all their North Sea assets up for sale. We find out whether North Sea exploration could see new era of small companies dominating the market.

We also investigate what difference Nigeria’s long-delayed new petroleum bill will make for companies operating in the country, check in on Norway’s offshore strike, which has seen workers and the Norwegian Shipowners’ Association clash over wages and pensions, and find out how the America Petroleum Institute’s Explore Offshore campaign is trying to tackle opposition to drilling in coastal southeastern states.

Plus, we hear from the University of Aberdeen about its world-first Master’s course in decommissioning, which the institution hopes will position it as the North Sea’s foremost training centre for the next generation of decommissioning specialists, and take a closer look at some of the innovations extending the life and worth of offshore oil projects.

In this issue

Has a new era of small producers arrived in the UK North Sea?
The latest round of offshore licensing for the North Sea has been important for the rise in smaller new players bidding for blocks, as big players like Total put their assets up for sale. Are we seeing the dawn of a new era of small companies dominating the North Sea? Molly Lempriere finds out.
Read more.

Bridging the racial divide to boost offshore support
The American Petroleum Institute has launched a campaign to counter criticism of offshore drilling in US coastal southeast states, with a particular focus on minority communities, who are more likely to be opposed. Molly Lempriere explores the benefits of the campaign, as well as its limitations.
Read more.

Nigeria’s oil nostrum: what is the petroleum reform hoping to achieve?
Nigeria is tipped to benefit from the approval of the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill, heralded as the first of four milestone reforms to boost exploration investments and keep the nation competitive. Talal Husseini considers how far it will go towards reaching Nigeria’s offshore potential.
Read more.

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By GlobalData

Oil strikes: the North Sea’s summer of discontent
Offshore strikes in Norway and the UK have made summer 2018 a season of discontent for the industry. What are the production impacts of strikes in mature hydrocarbon regions, and how can the industry reduce the chances of further disruption? Chris Lo reports.
Read more.

Aberdeen University: cornering the market on decommissioning training
The University of Aberdeen has set up the world’s first Master’s course in decommissioning, positioning itself as the North Sea’s leading centre for the training of specialists. Elliot Gardner finds out more from course leader David Vega-Maza.
Read more.

Innovations extending the life, and worth, of offshore oil projects
As offshore facilities age, the running of a site becomes increasingly less appealing to operators. While many consider decommissioning to be expensive and uninviting, life extension techniques can add years onto the life of a facility. Elliot Gardner looks at innovations in this space.
Read more.

Next issue preview

Earlier this year, the UN applauded Shell for committing to keep methane emissions intensity below 0.2% by 2025 across all of the oil and gas assets it operates. Methane emissions make up a significant percentage of the environmental pollution caused by the industry, and so the UN hopes this commitment from Shell will encourage others to act too. We find out more about the plan.

We also speak to ABB about its delivery of the fastest ever upstream start-up for Aasta Hansteen’s first gas production, delve deeper into the logistics of repairing deepwater rigs, and investigate a technology originally developed by the Scottish police service that is now being used by BP to produce data-rich virtual replicas of its oil and gas platforms.

Finally, as the US looks to build bigger and better infrastructure to cope with increasing oil exports, we look at plans to build offshore shipping terminals big enough to handle a new generation of mega-tankers, and investigate Sino-Japanese relations in the East China Sea, following China’s latest move to deploy a mobile offshore drilling unit in disputed waters.

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