From the Editor: Hocus Focus

Published Feb 13, 2004
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It’s not possible to think about the entire global oil and gas industry concretely. It’s just too big – there’s too much for the mind to take in all at once.You have to focus – to break through the abstract and move down towards the industry’s component parts. Even then, the industry’s so large, so ubiquitous, that it’s not an easy task to decide just where to aim your focus. We think we’ve come up with a constructive approach. So in addition to our usual thematic focal points,we have introduced with this issue our new country focus sections, in which we concentrate on our North Sea neighbours’ involvement in the industry.

During the year,we will be focusing on most of the countries that border the North Sea, and the first of the new year are Scotland and Germany. Both countries’ contributions to oil and gas technology as well as their commitment to alternative and renewable energy sources are impressive. Although even this focus is not enough to take in everything each nation has to offer, hopefully our presentation will inspire readers to delve further. In the decommissioning arena, the latest regulations from the European authorities that require platform removal operations include returning the seabed to its original state. Inside, you can read about a solution that incorporates a new cutting process that works with a minimum of soil displacement and reduces dredging damage.

In this issue we’ve also tried shed a little light into subsea oil and gas activities. Remotely operated vehicles (of the autonomous variety), subsea well interventions (without risers) as well as subsea equipment made from materials such as titanium (both strong and corrosion resistant) are the main topics you’ll find inside.And to focus on the latest star of the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS), further back in this issue we’ve included a review of all the Ormen Lange contracts awarded to date.

The old year didn’t exactly fade away without some excitement on the NCS. Block announcements for the Norwegian 18th licensing round, for the 2003 awards in predefined areas, as well as for the reopening of acreage in the Barents and North Seas have kept debate lively.Add to the mix the nine newly qualified operators/licensees and the announcement for the 2004 awards in predefined areas and we should be seeing an interesting year ahead.

The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) also made some news of its own, spinning off the new Petroleum Safety Authority (PSA) Norway. Be sure to read NPD Director Gunnar Berge’s and PSA Director Magne Ognedal’s remarks concerning the fission.

All this and the new year’s only begun.

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