Technology to be the key to unlock UK remaining reserves

Feb 12, 2002 01:00 AM

North Sea operators are fully committed to the development of new technologies which will ensure continuing oil and gas production from the UK Continental Shelf for years to come. Proof of the pudding is in an announcement from the Aberdeen-based Industry Technology Facilitator (ITF) that, last year, £ 8 mm was committed by oil and gas companies for the funding of 30 projects and further £ 8 mm is promised for this year.
ITF is an independent not-for-profit company promoting the development of innovative technology through joint industry projects. Currently it is financially backed by 15 North Sea operators, but there is expectation that service companies like Halliburton and the Expro Group are about to join the team.

ITF David Ellix said: "Technology will be the key to unlocking Britain's estimated remaining reserves of between 26 bn and 34 bn boe. The technologies being developed for the UK should lead to more successful exploration, maximum recovery of reserves and improved competitiveness in the North Sea. But they also have the potential for worldwide application."
That worldwide aspect was is confirmed by the fact that last year ITF received proposals from researchers in every corner of the globe seeking funding. They were responding to ITF's call for proposals driven by the business needs of UK operating companies. Following rigorous refinement and review, the most promising projects were recommended to the oil companies for their support.

Two key current projects are:
-- The Structurally Complex Reservoirs Programme, established to promote technology advances in the areas of detection and prediction of geological faults and fractures, and their properties. ITF's member companies need to understand and model the structural complexities of their reservoirs. Improvements in these areas will yield real business benefits in terms of optimising reserves, well targeting, eliminating development surprises and improving exploration success.
-- The Seismic Reservoir Characterisation Programme, established to promote technology advances in the areas of seismic resolution and rapid prediction of reservoir performance from seismic data. The benefits of this programme will include better placement of wells, better definition of reserves and where they are to be found, and improved day to day well and reservoir management.

The two programmes, each lasting three years, consist of nine interlinked projects led by major UK and overseas universities, with active participation from the Small to Medium Enterprises sector. They will be funded by a consortium of ten oil companies and the UK Department of Trade and Industry.
Mr Ellix said: "These programmes represent an exciting and different approach to the development of cross-industry funded research and development. Beginning with a clear statement of business needs from the oil companies, we were able to attract proposals from leading researchers around the world. The oil companies' specialists supported the exercise from the outset, and will now help to steer the two programmes."

Source: Energy24
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