It either feels like I’ve always been editor of InnovOil, or it’s been days since the mantle was passed to me – days that have passed in a blur of work as I adapt to this new challenge. There’s been so much to learn and so much to do to keep this magazine up to the high standard set by my predecessor, Andrew Dykes. But this is simply the first step in a long journey, and it’s one I’m excited to take and see where it takes me and InnovOil.
This is an interesting time for the oil and gas industry. I joined NewsBase back in 2014, just in time for the great oil slump. We’re only now starting to climb back out of that pit and are even dreaming that oil might just break that US$100 per barrel ceiling. The past few years have been all about reducing costs and becoming more efficient and the technology available has reflected that. Now companies are looking to make up for lost production, and this means more projects and more opportunities to invest in new technology and new solutions.
In this issue, we look at some of the new materials being used by the oil and gas industry. Whereas steel has traditionally been at the heart of many vital pieces of infrastructure, such as pipelines, new high-grade polymers are increasingly able to compete with steel in its core areas. We look at a specific application in m-pipe, a polymer pipeline that takes full advantage of these new polymers. On top of that, we investigate new ways of working with steel, as advanced welding techniques, such as CVE’s portable electron beam welder, open up new ways to join metals.
People are just as important to this industry as technology. We dive into The Underwater Centre’s courses to see how they’re training the next generation of subsea divers to meet the new challenges facing the offshore industry.
We also look at the importance of data in the oil and gas industry. Perhaps it’s because so much of the industry was built before datafication became such a huge trend, but it seems like the industry is just waking up to the possibilities afforded by big data. Now, a number of cheap and easily integrated monitoring products can be retrofitted onto existing infrastructure, helping to provide vital information that can make for a more efficient oil and gas industry.
And that’s what InnovOil is all about – finding the most important information about oil and gas technology and keeping our readers aware. To that end, I am proud to present the August, and my inaugural, issue of InnovOil.