OFFICIAL: Most N. Sea oil operators (70%) spend nothing on research and development

More than two-thirds of North Sea oil and gas operating companies (70%) spend nothing at all on research and development.

And investment on R&D fell by 35% following the oil price crisis, when Brent crude slumped to around $30-barrel from a 2015 high of around $110-barrel.

These are some of the key findings published today by OGA, the Aberdeen-based regulator after 63 operators submitted their Technology Plans as part of the 2016 Stewardship Survey.

This OGA report contains the aggregated information from the technology plans, to highlight areas where critical technologies could be more widely adopted and collaboration opportunities in the development and piloting of novel solutions

The survey also reveals that  a small group of ‘leading’ operators (11% of respondents) accounted for 85% of £185 million spent on research and development in 2016, while most operators (70%) instead relying entirely on the supply chain for their technology needs.

The OGA’s comparison of individual operators’ plans showed that many existing technologies could be more widely adopted, and that more collaboration among operators on developing novel technologies of common interest is possible.

Carlo Procaccini, OGA head of technology, said: “The results of this study will allow the OGA to effectively engage operators, as part of the Asset Stewardship process, on opportunities to deploy the best technologies for maximising economic recovery (MER) from the North Sea.

BP’s Dave Lynch, vice-president of reservoir development, commented: “The role technology plays in our industry is more critical than ever, particularly as we seek to maximise economic recovery in a rapidly-changing and fast-paced digital landscape.

“BP, like all North Sea operators, needs to constantly improve how we apply technology to keep pace and deliver MER.”

Colette Cohen
Colette Cohen

Colette Cohen, head of the Oil and Gas Technology Centre, commented:: “The OGA’s Technology Insights report is a step change in creating a culture of transparency around the technology activities and technology development needs of the North Sea industry.

“This new report, with its comprehensive analysis of the current technology landscape, enables us to enhance our roadmaps and align our activities directly to both the MER agenda and the industry’s current technology priorities.”

6 Apr 2018

Pixie Energy

Pixie logo Pixie Energy is an incubator and a facilitator of strategic research and project work, focusing on energy regulation, policy and markets at the local and national level. Find out more about Pixie Energy here.

Local Energy Matters: Scotland

Local Energy Matters: Scotland is a free-to-download brochure with a focus on energy tariffs in the two Scottish electricity distribution regions, as well news on local energy and low-carbon schemes.

Previous editions can be download here.

Scottish energy market overview

You can read an overview of the Scottish energy market here.

Scottish Government energy feed