January and February tend to be busy months for most in the sector. Although poor weather may limit work in some of the tougher northern regions, many will bunker down in workshops and offices across the globe as plans for the year are unveiled and implemented. Indeed, the time is ripe for new resolutions and new thinking, and should be a heartening period for innovators.
It is for those reasons that we look to this year’s annual Subsea Expo conference in Aberdeen with great expectations. This will be InnovOil’s fifth year in attendance, and the expertise and technology on show never fails to impress. Building on last year’s theme of “Time for Transformation,” which pressed the importance of overhauling the subsea and wider industries to adapt to a new price environment, this year’s conference explores “Adapting to the New Norm.” In some areas, much progress has been made – new vessel sharing agreements, for example, are making subsea deployments far more efficient and cost-effective, and we have also seen the emergence of new service contracts based on working uptime, ensuring operators are getting value from functional equipment. As SubseaUK chief executive Neil Gordon explains inside: “We cannot ignore the real changes that are happening in the world. It is time to step up to the plate, adapt to the new environment and adopt a fundamentally different mind-set. It is vital that the industry takes a long-term approach – it is about making things simpler, safer, and more efficient today to deliver lasting results.” The subsea industry is also now looking to concentrate on what it does best. In focusing on better techniques for asset integrity management, maintenance regimes and condition monitoring, subsea companies can push further technological progress – and that their innovation will pay off. Elsewhere of course, innovation ploughs on. In addition to a raft of subsea technologies in this issue – think micro-AUVs, 3D modelling and automated pipeline inspection – we also explore a new VTOL drone design which could revolutionise both mine clearing and offshore geoscience surveys, the start-up of a pioneering CCS-EOR project and hear from downhole technology firm Well-SENSE on its progress with Fibre Line Intervention (FLI). We also feature a quick look ahead to the ITF Technology Showcase in March – another excellent event for incorporating both networking and new ideas and which will highly benefit innovators who make the trip. For now however, we wish you all the best with your business in the year to come, and are very pleased to present the February issue of InnovOil.