ment. It delivers integrity data and decision-making across the full lifecycle of an asset,
allowing for quicker and more accurate data
gathering and reporting, creating a potential
20% efficiency gain.
Air Control Energy aims to deliver a step
change in the capability and functionality of
unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for the remote inspection of oil and gas facilities. These
advanced drones could be 20 times faster
than traditional inspection techniques and
reduce costs by 50% in comparison to rope
The Centre is also working with TRAC
Oil & Gas to develop a new electromagnetic
method to inspect corroded pipework under
insulation and composite wrap materials. This
innovative solution would enable companies
to monitor the condition of hidden pipework,
saving time and money compared to current
Well construction is another key focus area.
With the Centre’s support, Raptor Oil has a
program that could transform the transmission of downhole drilling data to the surface.
The company’s acoustic telemetry technology
could increase the speed and capacity of data
communication, helping to drive efficiency,
reduce costs, and improve decision-making.
We are working with Interwell P&A and
various major North Sea operators to field-trial a ground-breaking concept for well
abandonment that could save the industry
more than £100 million [$133 million] per
year. The wireline-deployed tool (a rig-less
deployment is targeted), generates downhole
temperatures of up to 3,000°C [ 5,432°F] to
melt all well elements and create a permanent,
impermeable barrier, without the need to
remove any downhole tubulars.
Using technology to transform the construction and operation of wells could reduce
costs by up to 50%. To support this, the Centre
is co-funding a project with Deepwater Oil
Tools to develop a special articulated joint
called ArticuLock, which could enable drilling operations in rough weather conditions,
saving tens of millions of pounds each year.
Of fshore: Can you explain how the Asset
Integrity Solutions Centre (AISC) will work
to achieve its goal to “eliminate the impact of
asset integrity on operational uptime by 2026”?
Cohen: Corrosion has significant impact
on uptime and operating performance. Corrosion costs the global economy £ 4 trillion/
yr [$5.31 trillion] and £ 28 billion [$37.21 bil-lion] annually in the UK. Around 60% of pipe
failures on UKCS infrastructure are due to
corrosion under insulation, while the annual
UKCS cost of vessel inspection and corrosion
under insulation is £300 million [$398 million].
The AISC wants to transform the way the
industry maintains its assets by identifying,
• Potential production value increase of £157
million [$208 million] with alternative
methods to vessel inspection
• £700 million [$930 million] economic ben-
efit of improved asset integrity technolo-
gies between 2016 and 2025
• £ 14 million [$18.6 million] investment
required meaning every £ 1 investment
unlocks £ 50 [$66] net gain.
The AISC is initially focused on the two
themes identified in the Asset Integrity Theme
Landscaping Study, commissioned by Oil &
Gas UK on behalf of the Technology Leadership Board. These themes are process vessel
inspection (VI) and corrosion under insulation (CUI). Eliminating the impact of asset
integrity on operational uptime by 2026 means
no shutdowns or lost production due to asset
integrity issues by that date.
Of fshore: The Centre periodically launches
“calls for ideas.” What are the goals for the
Cohen: The goals vary depending on the
technology readiness level of the ideas that we
decide to invest in. The goal of an idea with a
low TRL [Technology Readiness level] could
be to prove the concept or develop a working
prototype; a goal for an idea with a higher TRL
could be to take the technology to field trial.
Offshore: What is the purpose of the Tech
X Technology Accelerator?
Cohen: TechX, due to be launched in December, is an initiative designed to stimulate
and accelerate new technology business anchored in northeast Scotland.
Our goal is to invest in 100 technology com-
panies in the next decade, offering:
• Unparalleled funding, up to £100,000
[$133,000] per start-up, with no equity
or pay back required
• Mentoring: advice and support from an
extensive network of experienced men-
tors and partners
• Facilities: fast access to dedicated facilities
and tailored training
• Field testing: opportunities to field trial
through the Centre’s operator network.
There are three available funding pro-grams to accelerate the development and
deployment of new technology:
For start-ups, there is our Pioneers program. Mentoring and support for entrepreneurs to develop business, validate products,
acquire customers and attract funding. Each
Pioneer will receive up to £100k funding
and can work out of the TechX space at the
Technology Centre’s site in the heart of Ab-erdeen. There are two programs each year,
with 10 companies per program.
For subject matter experts, there is our
Market Entry program. This is an ongoing
program for companies with a unique and
near market-ready product – preferably from
a different industry, needing operational test-
ing, validation and scaling.
Then, there is our Ventures program. This
program is designed for new ventures that are
looking to fill technology and supply chain
gaps through creativity, innovation and deter-
mination. This is a six to nine-month program
that runs in partnership with Deep Science
Ventures in London.
Of fshore: What are the aims of the Small
Cohen: The Small Pools Solution Centre,
like the Asset Integrity, Well Construction, Decommissioning and Digital Solutions Centres,
helps identify, co-fund, develop, and deploy
new technology in the North Sea. The goal is
to have no technically stranded UK offshore
field assets by 2022.
The Small Pools Solution Centre has co-invested in two projects to date: one is with
Exnics to develop a unique subsea flow meter
that can be retrofitted to measure oil and
gas flow rates from subsea wells. Improving measurement was one of the key focus
areas identified by the industr y’s Technology
Another project, with EC-OG, is in the preparatory phase for a field trial of the company’s
subsea power hub – a subsea generation and
storage device which harnesses ocean currents
to provide the power needed to operate well
controls and other critical subsea equipment.
The Small Pools ‘Tie-back of the future’
initiative involves 25 companies, with 15 technology proposals and six integrated studies to
design new tiebacks that can be delivered for
half the cost in half the time, and significantly
reduce the impact on the environment. The
initiative focuses on designing for disassembly and re-use, contributing to the circular
economy and reducing waste. •
Interwell’s wireline-deployed tool creates a
permanent barrier, without the need to remove