Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Intelligent Energy 2016: Oil companies getting serious about unmanned platforms

BP's unmanned Tambar platform
BP's unmanned Tambar platform

The crude price collapse has got oil and gas companies talking seriously about using large unmanned platforms more widely, an industry chief said today.

But forward thinkers are still having to fight against the industry’s pervading “inertia”.

Unmanned platforms are stripped right back and use only the simplest and most robust equipment, which cuts down on maintenance.

Most of those currently in use tend to be relatively small, but the same approach could be applied to rigs that are normally manned by large numbers of people.

If done correctly, this approach can cut costs and open up small pools in the process.

It also improves health and safety by reducing the number of trips workers have to make.

Speaking at the SPE Intelligent Energy conference in Aberdeen, Judson Jacobs, a senior director at IHS Energy, said large-scale unmanned platforms are still not used enough.

He cited an example of an unspecified company which set up an “extreme minimum-manned” platform on a shallow-water gas condensate field eight years ago.

He said the project showed capital expenditure could be reduced by removing manpower, without leading to increases in downtime.

But Mr Jacobs said the company did not stick to the new approach.

Instead, it went straight back to building platforms in the traditional manner.

Mr Jacobs said: “There are not a lot of examples of this (using large-scale unmanned platforms) being done. There are only about five examples in the whole of industry that qualify.”

That could be about to change, however.

“When oil is at $100 not a lot of people are asking for it, but that’s changing,” Mr Jacobs said.

“Now lots of conversations are taking place out there. People are asking how can we bring down our costs? And that is coming from project groups, that is, the people who have to delay the projects.”

Mr Jacobs said large unmanned platforms could reduce capital expenditure by up to 15% and operating costs by up to 70%.

The key, he said, was to simplify by taking equipment off the platform, or not putting it there in the first place.

He said he knew of a company which had run a cable offshore instead of putting generators on the platform to reduce maintenance.

“Every time someone wants to put something on the platform, you need to have an argument about it,” Mr Jacobs added.

Recommended for you

More from Energy Voice

Latest Posts