A new £180-million Oil & Gas Technology Centre has been officially opened in Aberdeen with aim to become the industry’s go to centre in the UK and internationally.
In addition, The Oil & Gas Technology Centre, The University of Aberdeen and Robert Gordon University have signed a memorandum of understanding for a multi-million pound joint venture to develop a Centre of Excellence for Field Life Extension and Decommissioning in Aberdeen.
This partnership should drive the technology innovation needed to maximise economic recovery, make sure that facilities are decommissioned efficiently and help the UK become a global leader in this growth market.
It is said that The Oil & Gas Technology Centre will help unlock the full potential of the UK North Sea, anchor the high-value supply chain in the North-East of Scotland and make the region a great place to live, work and invest for decades to come.
The Centre will work with a wide range of partners to accelerate the development and deployment of technologies that improve efficiency and increase productivity, creating a global technology hub that benefits the industry and the region.
It will co-invest alongside industry, technology and academic partners, whose matched funding contribution can be both in cash and in-kind in the form of access to knowledge, expertise, assets, facilities and equipment.
The Oil & Gas Technology Centre will learn from the experience of other sectors, exploring how exciting technologies such as 3D printing, photonics, virtual reality and robotics can be used to help maximise the economic recovery of UK offshore oil and gas.
Initial projects will help to halve the cost of drilling wells, reduce maintenance costs by up to 50%, and unlock up to three billion barrels of oil currently stranded in small discoveries marginal fields. Digital and decommissioning are also important early themes.
The Centre has already screened hundreds of opportunities and many projects are underway. These include a field trial in 2017, which could create a step change in how wells are plugged and abandoned with the potential to save hundreds of millions of pounds.
Lord Dunlop, UK Government Minister for Scotland, said: “It’s great to see The Oil & Gas Technology Centre open officially today. It will have a vital role in driving innovation and diversification in our oil and gas industry. The opening of the Centre is a really significant first step in delivering the £250 million Aberdeen City Region Deal, spearheaded by the UK Government. The Deal will make a huge difference to the economy of the North-East, helping to boost jobs and increase prosperity for generations to come.”