From the Editor: Sixty Years On

Published Apr 16, 2007
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As we prepared this issue, we strove to keep in mind something Arnis Judzis, chairman of the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) Board of Directors, related to us: “This year, OTC will mark the 60th anniversary of the development of the modern offshore industry. In 1947, drilling in 15 feet of water was a challenge, and drilling out of sight of land was a major technical milestone. Engineers of that time could not conceive of drilling in water depths much over 50 feet. But today, advanced technology has pushed that limit to water depths of 10,000 feet….”

Some twenty years after that 15-foot challenge, offshore operations in the North Sea were well under way. And now, as the world converges on Houston for the annual OTC, innovative technology that has been proven in North Sea and on the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS) will be among the highlights. Many of the contributors to this issue will attend the conference, and we wish all attendees a rewarding visit to the world’s oil capital.

Many realise that Stavanger is the oil capital of Norway, yet Bergen is fast becoming the mid-Norway hub for developing technologies, especially in the realm of subsea. The county of Hordaland has recently become the home of the Norwegian Centre of Expertise Subsea (NCE Subsea), which is an initiative by the local subsea industry to strengthen and internationalise business, R&D and education within the cluster. We include an overview of the Centre’s foundation and philosophy that we hope is only a beginning – we’re looking forward to hearing more from NCE Subsea as its future unfolds.

We also have a contribution from Aker Kværner Subsea. One of the OTC Spotlight on New Technology award winners, the SeaBooster™ is a simple and inexpensive way of increasing production from existing fields or new fields. Be sure to read about the history of the development of this important innovation as well as the early successes and anticipation of future developments.

We have a wide range of articles in this issue – far too many to mention all of them here. We’ve attempted to provide a broad range of topics from the Barents Sea to Iran, from drilling on the sea floor to well intervention, not to mention several market-focus samples. So whether you’re looking for technology or for a forecast of how developing technologies are likely to affect the market, there’s definitely something for you in this issue.

In addition, we’ve included a section that focuses on Danish, Finnish and Swedish contributions to the oil and gas industry in the North Sea and NCS. From E&P to downstream activities, our Nordic neighbours are involved in every aspect of the industry, and we’ve only just provided a taste of some of the products and services that are available from the region.

Finally, if you are attending this year’s OTC and you’d like to share your experience with our readers, drop us a line or send us your photos. We’ll be putting together a review of the conference for our next issue and your contribution will be greatly appreciated.

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