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EM&I: 'commercial readiness' of new technologies for offshore assets is vital to success

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Oilfield Technology,

New technologies face an uphill battle in the offshore oil industry, even if similar technologies have been used with great success in other industries. The FPSO Global Research Forum’s JIP (Joint Industry Project) for HITS (Hull Inspection Techniques & Strategy) have led the way, by adopting techniques from the nuclear, aerospace, medical & gas industries, and adapting them for the offshore industry.

This has proved to be a very successful way to introduce new technologies into a naturally conservative and sceptical oil industry, as all the key players are involved in the JIP, and set the objectives, monitor progress during development, and observe demonstrations before individual companies seek class & regulatory approval. This is often by a ‘Letter of No Objection’ from the Class Societies, which means that the new technologies can be considered for use on a ‘Case by Case’ basis.

Alongside ensuring technical readiness, a crucial step is quantifying the commercial readiness of the new technologies. The benefits need to be quantified, so that clients can easily compare them with traditional techniques. This is not easy, as many of the new technologies avoid the 'consequential costs' of coming off hire, off station, or shutting down. They are also much quicker and safer than traditional methods, so all these 'commercial benefits' need to be taken into account and quantified if possible.

Once all these factors have been resolved can the new technologies be considered ‘Commercially Ready’. Danny Constantinis (Executive Chairman) of EM&I, the international asset integrity specialists commented: “Commercial readiness of new technologies is the key to gaining wide recognition and acceptance, as clients are keen to realise the benefits without having to wait years for them to become commercially available. The ODIN® diverless UWILD (Under Water Inspection in Lieu of Drydocking) & NoMan® remote camera technologies for tank inspections. etc., are classic examples of commercially ready and successful technologies”.

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Upstream news Offshore news Oil & gas news