The National Composite Centre in Bristol was host to the Materials and Manufacturing Roadshow on 17 October. This was the first in a series of roadshows inviting companies from various sectors to get involved in addressing the challenges facing the UKCS oil and gas industry. Dr Carlo Proccacini, head of technology for the O&G Authority, put out a call for innovation and collaboration. There have been 44bn boe extracted from the North Sea so far and current estimates are that there are still between 10 and 20bn boe remaining. Those remaining reserves are getting harder and harder to extract. However there have been improvements in production efficiency and unit costs of development, mainly driven by the oil price crash in 2014 – so efficiency has increased since then from 65% to 73%, and unit costs have reduced from $30/bbl to $16/bbl. But the UKCS is still one of the most expensive places in the world to develop based on these costs. His challenge to the gathered delegates – and us in the industry – is how to improve asset integrity, undeveloped discoveries, well delivery and decommissioning using the diverse expertise and experience available across many industries. And the good news is that there is potential funding from various sources to help stimulate and support this innovation and research. Presenting at the Roadshow were the ITF, OGTC, OGIC and Innovate UK – a lot of acronyms! All have funding via industry or the government which is available to be used in this context. One of the main purposes of the Roadshow was to get the message across to the delegates that the government is encouraging and supporting innovation in this area so if you get the opportunity, you may want to get yourself along to one of the other Roadshows being held in Glasgow on 28 November and Rotherham on 30 November. For more information please click here.
Article by Karen Cherrill, Director, Kingsfield Consulting