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Weekly Round Up
16 April 2021
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Features

A perfect storm
Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, hundreds of people around the world have been evacuated from offshore oil rigs with suspected cases of the virus. Adequate testing can play a significant role in preventing transmission, but, so far, it has been difficult to secure. Irenie Forshaw talks to HSE director at Oil and Gas UK (OGUK) Trevor Stapleton, RMT regional organiser Jake Molloy and MSP Liam Kerr about the current testing regime in the North Sea and further steps that could be taken to protect the offshore workforce.

The good oil
Enhanced oil recovery has been a much-hyped resource in the oil and gas industry, promising to squeeze more oil from the ground and power the industry into a more sustainable future. New technologies can refi ne this process even further, boosting the efficiency of existing operations and, in the long-term, slowing down demand for new reserves. Gary King talks to Zachary Paul Alcorn, a senior reservoir engineer and geoscientist at the University of Bergen, about the latest versions of this method and what they mean for the future of offshore oil in a Covid-stricken world.

The drone age
The exterior inspection of offshore rigs – often involving dangerous work at dizzying heights – poses significant health and safety risks. In the age of drones, not only can much of the risk to life and limb be eliminated, but also the accuracy of the inspection process can be improved. Jim Banks talks to Danny McMahon, metrology and digital manufacturing team lead at the University of Strathclyde’s Advanced Forming Research Centre, about the future’s new flight path.

Diverging fortunes
For decades, Guyana has been riven by civil strife, brain drain and corruption. A massive oil discovery by ExxonMobil off its coast, however, promises to change all that. Greg Noone talks to David Goldwyn, chairman of the Atlantic Council Global Energy Center’s Energy Advisory Group, about the potential of this new field, not only for international operators but also for the Guyanese economy in particular.

Reality check
For years chained to book learning – or else, gruelling on-site exercises – energy companies are increasingly exploiting the huge potential of virtual and augmented reality systems to train their staff. Andrea Valentino talks to Jeff Potts, a cyber physical systems team leader at Baker Hughes, and Kyle Daughtry, an XR solution architect at ExxonMobil, about how these simulation platforms have already transformed training for offshore workers and how more remarkable new technologies could soon replace it.


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