The Oil & Gas Innovation Centre (OGIC) has signed its 75th project, taking its total investment into innovative technology over the last four years to £3.8million.
The latest project comes as OGIC finalises agreements on five new technologies, all of which have the potential to cut operational costs and improve efficiency in the oil and gas industry.
The new projects will see five companies working with Scottish universities to develop innovative technology with direct applications to current industry challenges and represent a £330,000 investment by OGIC.
In the first project, Technip FMC Umbilicals is working with the University of Aberdeen to develop a load bearing connector for use with power umbilicals containing high strength aluminium conductors. The design will see the need for ancillary strength members alleviated or eliminated. Phase one of the project has been successfully completed and an initial design for the connector is underway. Phase two will see the University of Aberdeen investigate the design of the connector through analysis and testing, to gain knowledge of both mechanical and electrical performance requirements.
Weir Group has joined forces with Heriot-Watt University’s School of Engineering and Physical Sciences to develop a barrier layer of 2D Nanomaterial for elastomers to reduce gas permeation. Ultimately, this technology should allow easier and safer access to high pressure and high temperature oil and gas reserves. An initial evaluation to determine the feasibility of 2D Nanomaterial as an additive to polymer coatings has been completed. Phase two of the project will see further permeation studies taking place to develop understanding of how the technology will work.
The third project will involve Balmoral Group working with the University of Edinburgh to investigate the potential use of new materials, which can be integrated into Balmoral’s current line of subsea ancillary products. The industry leading technology used by Balmoral through this collaboration will ensure a competitive edge for the future. Primarily, the project will look to develop composite materials operating at extreme loads in a challenging marine environment.
Getech Group plc is also working with the University of Glasgow and University of Strathclyde to investigate the conditions under which granites and all crystalline based basement rocks weather and fracture, to a degree that transform them into potential hydrocarbon reserves. This will then increase the opportunities to exploit unconventional reservoirs, which is crucial in the UKCS due to the decrease in traditional basins. Data will be gathered on various formations and this will then be used to predict the presence of weathered and fractured granite.
In the final project, N-Sea is working with the University of Strathclyde to develop technology that carries out automatic annotation of subsea video and auxiliary data. This will reduce the time taken to process inspections, improve consistency and accuracy, and reduce cost. N-Sea, along with the University of Strathclyde and DataLab innovation centre have completed phase one of the project, proving the feasibility of the technology. Phase two, which is being facilitated by OGIC, will see the testing of a prototype.
Ian Phillips, chief executive officer of OGIC, said:
“We are very excited to have signed our 75th project agreement, reaching this milestone highlights the willingness there is in the industry to invest in new technology and take part in R&D.
The five new projects we have recently supported are all vastly different but demonstrate that there is an appetite across the industry to find innovative solutions to challenges facing the sector. Each of these projects have the potential to result in real cost savings for companies and emphasise the range and scope of projects which OGIC can support.”