Shockwaves reverberated throughout the oil industry last October when the price of a barrel of crude oil fell by more than 50 percent. After 15 years with a price of around US$100 per barrel, huge investments suddenly came to a screeching halt and it became time to conserve and rationalise via the use of new technology.
Precisely as during 1985 to 2001, when the price of a barrel of oil was around US$28 and the industry still managed to earn money, optimisation and rationalisation must once again now be pursued everywhere within the industry. This is achieved by the use, among other things, of suppliers of new technologies. One of the companies that is actively seeking to counteract the effect of the drastically lower oil prices is Statoil, which is carrying out extensive rationalisation measures in its operations.
"More than ever, we are dependent, in conjunction with our partners and suppliers, on finding ingenious, effective concepts and forms of operation that will allow us to survive with low prices for oil," stated Bjørn Holst, Vice President, CSS, Statoil Asa.
Demand for new technology
At Atec Training and Certification, a provider of inspection and maintenance to the oil industry, demand for new technology has risen quite strongly. Where the oil companies used to perform inspections with pen and paper, they are now demanding new technologies and more efficient methods.
"We are experiencing oil companies demanding the use of electronic systems to improve both their efficiency as well as their safety," confirms Brian Duffy, General Manager of Atec Training and Certification.
One of the companies benefiting from the demand for new technology is SafeEx, from Denmark. SafeEx provides a tablet and web based system for Ex inspections and maintenance that improves efficiency by optimising the procedures. Furthermore, their management overview module provides a platform for observing the progress of these procedures, thus assuring that units are transparent to the onshore management.
ROI of one year a must
SafeEx confirms that during the past six months they have had more unsolicited inquires than in the prior six years as a whole.
"Due to a general halt in larger investments, companies are demanding a return on investment of less than a year so it can be written off in the operating costs, and so they do not need to procure separate permits," says Henrik Andersen, CEO of SafeEx.
BW Offshore, Seadrill, Petronas and DONG Energy have already implemented this new technology from SafeEx. The software, which has been verified by DNV, provides not just greater efficiency, but also increased safety. This has been the experience of DONG Energy in its working relationship with Offshore & Marine Contacts, which uses SafeEx Software.
"We believe that OMC’s knowledge of Ex-inspections led our Drill Rig to a higher safety standard. The documentation and certificate control SafeEx provides is of high quality," emphasises Henrik Arildsen of DONG Energy.
SafeEx is currently about to release a new, Android-based version of their software for tablets and smartphones that will be presented at OTC 2015 in Houston, booth No. 5465, Reliant Centre. The event takes place 4-7 May and is a chance for energy professionals to meet and exchange ideas in order to advance scientific and technical knowledge for offshore resources and environmental matters.
Find out more about the event here: http://2015.otcnet.org