A major study is underway to identify new processes and technologies that can be applied to asset integrity challenges in the UK offshore oil and gas industry.
Lockheed Martin has been commissioned to conduct a technology landscaping study addressing the asset integrity theme being progressed by the industry’s Technology Leadership Board (TLB) as part of the maximizing economic recovery agenda for the UKCS.
The study is the first part of an asset integrity project which is targeting advances in process vessel inspection and managing corrosion under insulation (CUI), which could unlock £1 billion of revenue in the North Sea through improved production efficiency and cost savings.
The project is the result of partnership working between the Technology Leadership Board, Oil & Gas UK, Oil & Gas Authority, Oil & Gas Innovation Centre (OGIC) and Industry Technology Facilitator (ITF). It is being led by Total E&P UK and Amec Foster Wheeler with support from OGIC and ITF.
The UK oil and gas industry is challenged by a combination of rising production costs, falling oil prices and ageing facilities that require increasingly expensive maintenance. The project seeks to ensure that inspection and maintenance is safer, quicker, easier and cheaper to carry out, which will translate into less production downtime in the UKCS.
The Lockheed Martin study will map out all the existing technologies and companies for maintenance and inspection and identify relevant technologies and processes that are new or not used offshore. This phase of the project will report back in February 2016.
Results of the study will be used to share the next steps of the project, which will be two workshops on 24 and 25 February 2016.
Commenting on the commission, Alec Harley, energy sector director at Lockheed Martin Information Systems & Global Solutions, said: “Partnering with the oil and gas industry to take on such an ambitious goal of reducing costs to the industry by £1 billion is a challenge Lockheed Martin is proud to tackle.
“The asset integrity landscaping study on corrosion under insulation (CUI) and vessel inspection is progressing well with Lockheed Martin consultants interviewing key stakeholders inside and outside the oil and gas industry.
“Ideas from a number of research and academic institutions are demonstrating some interesting and thought provoking concepts that are encouraging in their potential application to helping the oil and gas industry solve this very real challenge of increasing production efficiency.
“The Lockheed Martin Global Fellows Network has also identified encouraging technologies that we apply on NASA’s space shuttle program that are proven to address similar challenges faced in the aerospace industry,” said Harley.
Ian Phillips, chief executive of OGIC, said: “This project aims to tackle significant asset integrity challenges in the basin which directly impact upon production efficiency, and therefore revenue.
“The Lockheed Martin study is the first step in a project which will propose the adoption of new technologies, technologies from other industry sectors and the development of working methods where services can be combined in a logical, quicker and therefore cheaper manner. It will also propose the introduction of new products and services to lower costs and/or improve safety.
“Lockheed Martin has experience in bringing cross sector innovation, engineering excellence and left field thinking to similar consultancy engagements and also brings access to its global fellows network of world-class engineers, scientists and technologists – all of which will contribute to the innovation agenda of this project,” said Phillips.
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