Technology investment doubles at Scotland’s oil and gas innovation centre

The Aberdeen-based Oil & Gas Innovation Centre has seen a ‘growing appetite’ over the past 12 months from companies looking to invest in the development of emerging technologies, as North Sea operators continue to demonstrate the benefits of technology-led solutions in response to the economic downturn. 

Access to advanced technology has always played a vital role in driving the oil and gas sector forward.

However, the risks and uncertainties associated with bringing a new technology to market require significant financial investment to research, develop, test, and commercialise a new concept. With higher levels of investment typically required in the early stages of research and testing, companies are often deterred from exploring advanced technology solutions.

Accessibility to adapted solutions that combine existing technologies is being accelerated by the advancement of Internet of Things (IoT) and 4G offshore, which is opening up new opportunities to capitalise on the potential of emerging technologies.

Companies are now reappraising levels of research and development investment to provide a competitive advantage. This includes cost-effective ways to approach and manage decommissioning, which is forecast to take place on 349 fields across the four regions of the North Sea over the next decade.

By close of 2017, OGIC’s total investment in collaborative projects stood at £2.3 million, and additional private sector funding across these projects brought the total value to £5.4 million

Ian Phillips, OGIC chief executive, commented: “We are focussed on encouraging early stage R&D investment in technologies with a real potential to solve some key industry challenges.

“By helping companies find appropriate research expertise within the Scottish university system, in addition to funding, companies are now benefiting from working hand-in-hand with cutting edge research departments, such as Oceans Systems Laboratory at Heriot-Watt University and the Petroleum Engineering Research Group at Robert Gordon University.

“We believe that providing access to more cost effective early stage research, often on unproven technologies when there’s a higher risk of the concept not working, is helping to stimulate ideas for more innovative solutions – especially as the “regret cost” is significantly reduced if it fails.”

20 Feb 2018

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