BP’s global head of technology hopes an inaugural conference in Aberdeen next week will act as a “call to arms” for the North Sea on innovation.
Ahmed Hashmi will be one of the speakers at the SPE ENGenious symposium and exhibition, with more than 1,000 people expected to attend.
The three-day event at the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre will focus on digital innovation – new products and techniques that can transform offshore exploration and production.
Mr Hashmi, BP’s global head of upstream technology, said he’s been “amazed” by the pace of such innovation in the US and believes it can be replicated here in the North Sea.
He also praised the UK sector’s efforts to bring down its costs since the downturn.
He said “The pace of digital transformation when you look at the lower 48 states compared to other areas has been amazing, so I hope ENGenious will be a call to arms to show that can be replicated in the North Sea as well.”
Mr Hashmi, who is based in Texas and has had leadership roles with BP around the world, will take part in three sessions throughout the event, including discussing opportunities in and outside the industry.
He describes a need for change that’s “not typical” to the oil and gas sector, which can be brought through different industries connecting.
He said “It’s really about the need for the industry to transform and the need for collaboration. Some of our core basic ways of doing business have to adjust.
“We can invent anything we want in this industry. It’s about having people in different sectors and value chains connecting.
“I think the North Sea is particularly equipped to do this.”
During his visit to Aberdeen, Mr Hashmi will meet with staff at the Oil and Gas Technology Centre (OGTC) which he praised for its role in helping drive innovation in the North Sea since the downturn.
He added that the conversation about innovation is not coming to a slow at BP, with the oil price steadying at around $70.
“At BP we are not taking our foot off the pedal when it comes to our business. We try to decouple our business with the oil price.
“I think the OGTC is a good construct. It remains to be seen how different companies can collaborate in that space and I think the OGTC is in a good position to facilitate that.
“We are going to trial an EOR (enhanced oil recovery system) at the Clair Ridge. That would not have been possible if we did not have the support from the North Sea.
“I think seismic remains on of the biggest opportunities for development costs.”
In its half-year results earlier this month, BP said its Clair field west of Shetland, had “potential for significant growth”, as partners weighed up a potential third phase of the development known as Clair South.
Mr Hashmi said BP’s portfolio shows the North Sea can compete on a global scale.
He said: “The important thing is that developments in the North Sea have to compete with developments in the rest of the world.
“BP is investing and North Sea investments can compete in our portfolio.”