Oil and gas innovation centre invests £6m

An innovation centre aimed at helping the North Sea oil and gas industry cut costs to boost competitiveness has seen its investment in such technologies hit the £6 million mark after signing its 100th project.

Mark Robertson, project manager at OGIC; Liam Manderson, managing director at Targe Environmental Consulting; Nirmalie Wiratunga, research professor at RGU; and David Corsar, lecturer at RGU. Picture: Contributed

Under the latest investment announced today, the Oil & Gas Innovation Centre (OGIC), is supporting Aberdeen-based Targe Environmental Consulting to develop an artificial intelligence-enabled platform to help operators make use of unwanted materials.

Targe will work with Robert Gordon University’s School of Computing Science and Digital Media to develop the software to identify materials on platforms or other assets that could be sold or recycled.

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The aim of the platform is to reduce the overall cost of decommissioning and promote a circular economy.

The announcement of the 100th project follows on from the OGIC, which was launched five years ago, signing agreements to support five new pieces of innovative technology that have the potential to improve efficiency and reduce costs in the oil and gas industry.

The projects range from a system to detect marine mammal activity to innovative drill bit technology, a new additive manufacturing process and a research project into polymers for pipeline coatings.

Ian Phillips, who was appointed to the role of OGIC chief executive in August 2014, commented: “The signing of our 100th project is a significant milestone and is testament to the current appetite across the industry to develop both new and disruptive technology.

“We are increasingly seeing a recognition that the only way to make operations more efficient and cost-effective is to develop innovative ways of working.”

Phillips also stated that the most recent projects the centre has supported highlight the range of applications and opportunities that exist across the sector for developing innovative technology solutions to aid the industry.

“They also highlight the vast amount of expertise and knowledge which exists within Scottish universities” he added.

The latest projects include one where Aberdeen-based surveying firm Rigocal is working with the University of Edinburgh’s High Performance Computing Centre to develop an automated solution for the detection of marine animals.

During offshore operations such as seismic survey and pile driving, operators must monitor marine mammals. The automated system would detect mammal activity day and night, automatically classifying them and analysing the data.

Another project will see Varel UK join forces with the University of Aberdeen to develop a diamond compact drill-bit aimed at increasing the efficiency of drilling in hard rock.

The industry-led Oil & Gas Technology Centre was established in October 2016 with £180m funding as part of the Aberdeen City Region Deal.