New venture: Improving safety in oil and gas

The main aim of the research centre is to work to extend the lifetimes of producing fields and to prevent major accidents. The picture is taken at the opening press-conference at ONS. (Photo: Universitetet i Stavanger)

What happens if an oil installation experiences a process upset, a gas alarm and a vessel collision all at the same time? And what do you do if a platform originally designed for a lifetime of 20 years has to produce hydrocarbons for another 25?

It is issues just like these which the recently inaugurated research venture "Centre for Petroleum Production Facilities – Operations and Safety" is intending to address.  The centre is a joint initiative launched by SINTEF, MARINTEK, the University of Stavanger, NTNU, IFE and IRIS.

The main aim of the research centre is to work to extend the lifetimes of producing fields and to prevent major accidents. Also on the centre’s list of activities are the improvement of operations, installation integrity and value creation, and the more efficient management of both new and aging production installations.

The centre is now discussing partnerships with oil and gas operators.

“Operators on the Norwegian continental shelf are facing many challenges”, says Project Manager Andrew Gibson at MARINTEK. "We shall apply our combined research expertise to generate innovative solutions based on real cases. This is why we are reliant on close collaboration with the oil and gas industry so that we can come up with robust and progressive solutions”, he says.

This idea is supported by Tora Aasland, current Rogaland County Governor and former Norwegian Minister for Education and Research. She was full of praise for the initiative when she gave the inaugural speech for the centre during the oil industry’s ONS expo in Stavanger last week.

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