The Oil & Gas Innovation Centre (OGIC) has invested more than £300,000 into three new projects which have the potential to cut operational costs and improve efficiency in the oil and gas industry.
The projects will see three UK companies work with Scottish universities to develop innovative technology to solve current industry challenges and represent the latest investments by OGIC.
The first project will see Blue Gentoo work with the University of Aberdeen to develop an Intelligent Hydrate Tool (IHT). The tool will automatically control MonoEthylene Glycol (MEG) injection by monitoring hydrocarbon parameters - calculating both the MEG required and any subsequent injection adjustments in real time - without routine human intervention. The IHT will learn effective human and computer devised injection strategies for hydrate prevention, reusing them in the appropriate circumstances and providing a detailed justification of the adopted strategy. Combining AI technology, proven software and engineering techniques, the system also aims to enhance oil recovery, minimise production risks and offer environmental benefits.
The second undertaking will see Robert Gordon University working with Cambridge-based CorrosionRADAR Ltd, to take its new remote monitoring and analytics system to the next stage. The device has been developed to monitor corrosion in isolation using permanently mounted sensors to locate problem areas within complex pipeline networks. The company will also work with University of Strathclyde, to support its short and long-term R&D strategy. In a further stage, Corrosion Radar will seek to partner with a firm to perform field trials and early adoption of the technology. The system will allow operators to move from reactive inspections, to a more targeted, informed and condition based programme, minimising the risk of failure and costs.
And the third venture will see Phoenix RDS work with Heriot-Watt University to develop a flow control device (FCD), specially designed for injection. The project aims to identify ways to optimise the FCD so the required pressure drop during injection is achieved with minimal degradation of the fluid's properties. The project also includes a field trial using scaled models to confirm the validity of the design.
Last year, OGIC pledged more than £1.5 million, supporting over 25 projects both in the UK and overseas.
The organisation provides a single access point to the knowledge and capabilities of Scottish universities for the oil and gas industry. It part-funds and provides management support to projects with the potential to deliver technology solutions to the exploration, production and decommissioning challenges facing the industry. Key aims for OGIC are to stimulate knowledge exchange and research activities and to provide an environment that supports the development of the next generation of business innovators, academics and entrepreneurs in Scotland.
Ian Phillips, chief executive officer of OGIC, said: “These three projects provide an excellent insight into the range of opportunities available to technology developers, not only in the UK, but across the globe. Each innovation has the potential to solve real industry challenges, while delivering significant cost savings and minimising potential risks offshore.
“There are a number of companies out there that have the skills and expertise to develop ground-breaking technologies, but possibly don't have the capital to get their ideas off the ground. That's why it's vitally important that support is given to small technology-focused businesses, so they can help push our industry forward, support the UKCS and export their offerings to the international market.”