Commentary, 7/8 2007

Published Aug 20, 2007
[an error occurred while processing this directive]

Edit page New page Hide edit links

Cover 7/8 2007


We tend to humanise most everything around us. And why not – one of the most notable things about being human is self awareness, so we often project ourselves onto our surroundings.

This tendency is not lacking in the oil and gas industry, by any means. We often talk about oil regions as if we were discussing a member of the family – “developing smoothly”, “in the prime”, “mature” (“mid-life crisis”?) are all phrases we hear over and over.

When it comes to the North Sea, the consensus is that the region is mature. After more than 30 years of exploration and production, some feel that the region is not quite as exciting as it once was. The truth is that there’s a great deal of oil and gas still to recover, even though the region is now past its prime. Yet the further north you look, the more opportunity there is to see.

And so the challenge for governments and operators and even the supply industry in the region is two-fold. Obviously, we need to carry on continuously improving the technology that’s needed to ensure continued oil and gas recovery. The momentum is there. Governments and the industry have all worked hard, both independently and together, to take new ideas further and further. There’s no lack of innovation.

But the second challenge may in some ways be even more daunting. We must work to remain positive about the region and not allow “barriers” be erected because too many assume that the region is too far past its prime. Often, a new region is exciting because of what is not yet known. The North Sea is familiar territory, but that doesn’t mean it can’t hold surprises.

The idea of “rediscovery” fits well as a concept to overcome both challenges. By looking at the North Sea with fresh eyes, we can begin to address the technological challenges as well as avoiding the mental pitfalls.

An obvious way of using fresh eyes is to make certain young engineers and technicians decide to make a career within the oil and gas industry. At present, this has been somewhat problematic. But like all challenges the industry faces, we are confident this will sort itself out. As with technological developments, Government and industry initiatives are striving to attract more into choosing the industry.

But it’s also those with experience that should do their best to see with fresh eyes. In a way, this becomes a kind of “re-selfdiscovery”. And as with innovative technological development, this too can be a flash of inspiration followed by a great deal of hard work. Even experienced eyes can be fresh eyes.

So in the most mature North Sea areas, opportunities exist, as witnessed by the number of decommissioned fields that have been or are being planned to recommission. Subsea tiebacks are breathing new life into older fields, and new methods for increasing recovery are frequently announced. No one can say for sure where it will end.

And we don’t have to look too far to see additional challenges and opportunities in our part of the world. The high north is becoming more and more interesting, which is only natural considering that technology has evolved to the point that the extreme high-north conditions can be overcome.

So, it’s only human – some say we constantly re-invent ourselves, rediscovering who we are. And in a similar vein, we can take a fresh look at our region, deciding what we want the future to be.

Bookmark and Share

Do you have any comments to this articel, please let us now:

Do you have any comments to this articel, please let us know:

Please be civil.

(Use Markdown for formatting.)

This question helps prevent spam:





Mobile News
Mobile news

Our news on
your website


Do you have any
tips to us


sitemap xml