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Exploration & production

Seismic imaging has proven wildly successful in locating new subsea oil and gas reserves. The presence of salt deposits, however, can serve to obscure these hidden reservoirs by scattering the sound waves dispersed during conventional seismic surveys. A combination of advances in low-frequency exploration techniques and computational technology promises to end this problem. World Expro talks to Martyn Smith, head of reservoir development at BP, about the operator’s new WOLFSPAR submersible, and Kevin McLachlan, vice-president for exploration at Total, about the power of its new supercomputer to sift complex acoustic imaging data.

Design, engineering & construction

Additive manufacturing techniques have had a transformative impact on a host of sectors, with the notable – and surprising – exception of offshore oil and gas. Despite this, operators are beginning to recognise the potential of 3D printing to produce new parts, manage their inventories and react to emergencies more quickly. World Expro talks to Ameen Malkawi, lead engineer at Baker Hughes, and Andreas Nowak, site manager at Shell’s Technology Centre in Amsterdam, to find out more.

Drilling & well technology

In many ways, offshore drilling lends itself ideally to automation – and yet, progress in this area has been fitful at best. Now, the introduction of automated drilling control on rigs in the North Sea promises some measure of progress in this area. World Expro talks to Nils Norheim, the drilling and wells manager of mobile units for Wintershall, and Anders Opedal, executive vice-president for technology, projects and drilling at Equinor, to learn more.

Pipeline technology

Until recently, pipeline repair was a process requiring exterior access to the asset, a time-consuming process that often involves travelling great distances in person and getting up close and personal with the area of concern. Now, though, advances in robotic inspection technology promise to significantly cut the time it takes to repair pipelines and the staff required to do it. World Expro talks to Eric Primeau, senior technology specialist at BP, and Mark Telford, managing director at Forth Engineering, the team behind the FSWBot, to find out what these technologies will look like.

Operations management

Oil rigs not only extract oil – they consume its refined form in great quantities. Advances in hybrid power generation, however, promise to reduce that reliance and yield greater efficiencies for operators. World Expro talks to Jess Richards, vice-president for operations at Transocean, and Andy Hendricks, chief executive officer of the Patterson UTI Drilling Company, to find out how alternative power sources and new battery types are being deployed on new rigs around the world.

Digital oilfield

Corrosion is the bête noire of pipeline maintenance, costing an estimated $1.4 billion to the offshore oil and gas industry annually. Predictive repairs, however, can help to dampen down these costs. World Expro talks to Subrata Bhowmik and Harit Naik, McDermott International, about how AI-based systems can diagnose problems early before they compromise the supply chain.

Safety & security

In December, the American Petroleum Institute published the fourth edition of its offshore oil and gas safety standards, expanding its use globally and placing a renewed emphasis on responsible corporate leadership as a guarantee of safety on platforms. World Expro talks to Debra Phillips, senior vice-president of API’s Global Industry Services and Anne O'Neal, general manager for Process Safety at Chevron, about how Recommended Practice 75 will shape operators’ duty of care for staff and inform business practices going forward.

Editorial content is subject to change.

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