Oil & Gas Technology Centre pumps £1.6m into projects

Aberdeen's Oil & Gas Technology Centre has approved investment of more than £1.6 million in new projects, just four months after opening for business.

The Oil & Gas Technology Centre is led by chief executive Colette Cohen. Picture: Ross Johnston/Newsline Scotland
The Oil & Gas Technology Centre is led by chief executive Colette Cohen. Picture: Ross Johnston/Newsline Scotland

The new £180m collaborative facility, which forms a core part the £250m Aberdeen City Region Deal, was launched in February with the aim of becoming the “go to” technology research centre of its kind globally.

It will work with a wide range of partners to accelerate the development and deployment of systems and technologies that can ramp up efficiency and increase productivity.

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The centre – structured on a not-for-profit basis – will co-invest alongside industry, technology and academic partners, whose matched funding contribution can be both cash and in-kind, in the form of access to knowledge, expertise, assets, facilities and equipment.

Unveiling details of the projects attracted to date, the centre said it was co-funding the development of a new generation of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in an effort to slash the cost of inspecting and maintaining offshore infrastructure.

It will work with Air Control Energy to deliver a “step change” in the capability and functionality of UAVs for the remote inspection of oil and gas facilities. These advanced drones could be 20 times faster than traditional inspection techniques and reduce costs by 50 per cent in comparison to rope access methods.

The centre is also working with Trac Oil & Gas to develop a new electromagnetic method to inspect corroded pipework under insulation and composite wrap materials. This technique would enable companies to monitor the condition of hidden pipework, saving time and money compared to current approaches.

Major industry operators Total, Chevron and Nexen have become members of the various initiatives at the centre, while IT firms Resulting and Kippitech have joined its Digital Solution Centre. Meanwhile, subsea integrity specialist 1CSI has signed up to the Asset Integrity Solution Centre and subsea technology company Exnics has joined the Small Pools Solution Centre.

Colette Cohen, chief executive of the Oil & Gas Technology Centre, said: “Since our launch in February, we’ve screened almost 200 technologies and have an excellent pipeline of opportunities, with operating companies now facilitating field trials.

“We look forward to helping these innovative companies take their concepts from early stage development through to deployment in the oil field.”