The Oil & Gas Technology Centre is backing four subsea ‘plug and play’ projects to help unlock the 3.4 billion barrels of oil and gas in marginal fields, or ‘small pools’ on the UK Continental Shelf.
Plug and play is a concept from the computing and space industries, where equipment is designed to be connected, operated and reused more simply and efficiently. Adopting this concept in oil and gas could reduce the cost of developing small pools.
Carlo Procaccini, head of Technology at the Oil and Gas Authority said: “Small pools represent a significant opportunity to maximise economic recovery (MER) from the UKCS and it’s great to see promising technology initiatives being taken forward. Technology deployment is key to redefining our sector by reducing the costs of development wells, designing optimised subsea infrastructure, or developing efficient standalone concepts to capitalise on the potential of small pools.”
- Flexlife, and its partners Proserv, Infinity, DeepOcean and Axis, have received backing to develop a standardised tie-back bundle, with integrated pipeline and umbilical, and a subsea manifold that can be reused between field developments. A standardised bundle could simplify the design and manufacture of small pool field developments, bringing them online quicker and reducing costs.
- Glasgow Caledonian University, Edinburgh University and industry are working to transform how electrical power is delivered subsea. The smart, modular power network will increase reliability, reduce maintenance requirements, and provide improved flexibility for installation, operation and reuse.
- Marine Direct Consultants is working to certify its RapidPipe system, which provides a robust, reusable mechanical connection system for rigid flowlines. With the ability to recover and reuse flowlines, the system will help lower manufacturing costs and reduce installation time.
- Robert Gordon University and Alliance Manchester Business School project has also received support to identify the barriers to adopting a plug and play approach to field developments. The project will examine various aspects, such as industrial culture and organisational behaviour to help foster collaboration within the oil and gas industry.
Opening at the end of April 2018, next Small Pools Call for Ideas will focus on smart communications subsea.
The OGTC said it will be looking for innovative technology ideas that can transform subsea developments, moving from hydraulics to an all-electric approach. We’re looking for solutions to revolutionise subsea connectivity by developing a ‘subsea internet of things’, including sensors, software and wireless communications.