In the oil and gas industry especially, we frequently talk of “the race to be second.”
It is always encouraging, therefore, to see innovators celebrating a first – and in this month’s issue, we have a few of those to applaud.
From subsea marine engineering firm SMD, we examine a recent project which saw the development of a cutting-edge bespoke winch system, the electric winch in the world with the ability to manage an umbilical with active heave compensation and under constant tension, to an operating depth of 6,000m.
In another, the UK-based Safer Plug has developed the first 3D-printed component to receive certification for use in the oil and gas industry. The part – a titanium gateway manifold used in a suite of pipeline isolation tools – has been certified by technical services firm Lloyd’s Register for use downhole, and may hopefully represent the start of a growing trend in the expansion of additive manufacturing in the industry.
We also sat down with ABB’s vice president of oil, gas & chemicals for Norway, Jan Bugge, to discuss the electrical engineering giant’s long-running JIP with Statoil, Total and Chevron. This pioneering project qualifies components which will enable up to 100 MW of power to be transmitted subsea, at distances of up to 600 km – truly revolutionising the way the industry approaches subsea development. Bugge explains more about the project and the innovations behind it inside.
Continuing the theme of subsea electrification, and visible on our cover this month, Aberdeen’s EC-OG launches its Subsea Power Hub, a seafloor turbine capable of powering subsea components for years longer than batteries alone.
Elsewhere, Ed Reed also looks at the turbulent nature of the current rig market. Low oil prices and low demand have limited prospects for new offshore work, and while there are opportunities to be grabbed via consolidation and collaboration, the cold-stacking of older systems could result in many older rigs never seeing service again.
In the intervention market, meanwhile, progress continues apace. We speak with Johnny Hicks of US-based WFR Tools about the company’s innovative tools for decommissioning and P&A, and why the Offshore Well Intervention Gulf of Mexico 2017 conference is the best place to discuss them.
We also profile some of the innovation ongoing in worldwide projects, from flaring in Iraq, to progress at Royal Dutch Shell’s Prelude FLNG, and Gazprom’s LNG strategy.
We are pleased to present the October issue of InnovOil.