Artificial intelligence-based software being developed in Aberdeen is said to have the potential to unlock “significant value” from the UK North Sea.
The company behind it, Robert Gordon University (RGU) spin-out PlanSea Solutions, says its innovative technology can shave millions of pounds off oil and gas industry logistics, while also reducing carbon emissions and helping the sector achieve its net-zero ambitions.
PlanSea has received funding from the the Oil & Gas Technology Centre (OGTC), allowing it to push ahead with developing the software.
It follows work by RGU and OGTC to assess vessel use and efficiency in the UK North Sea.
The study highlighted potential cost savings of up to 25% on an annual industry logistics spend of more than £300m, and identified the contribution optimisation software could make to reducing CO2 emissions.
Plansea’s software is being taken forward in partnership with BP, CNOOC International and Equinor, putting some of the North Sea’s biggest players at the heart of the project.
Having the three operators on board should help the technology become operational across the UK North Sea and internationally, according to PlanSea, which hopes the software, together with optimisation tools and web applications, can be developed within a year.
The project will leverage existing optimisation algorithms and software tools, developed by RGU, which have been successfully applied onshore in the telecommunications and haulage sectors.
PlanSea co-founder and chief executive Jim Cargill said: “Innovation and new technology has a key part to play in the next chapter of our industry’s future.
“We are pleased to have secured funding for this important cutting-edge technology, which promises to save money and contribute towards net-zero.
“The partnership with BP, CNOOC International, Equinor and the OGTC is a great example of industry collaboration, and will be critical in turning this innovative and transformational concept into a set of powerful tools for the industry.
“The technology has the potential to unlock material value for the industry and to significantly improve offshore logistics both on the UKCS (UK Continental Shelf) and overseas.”
Stephen Ashley, digital transformation solution centre manager, OGTC, said: “The OGTC has a key focus on the digital supply chain. From the outset, we have been looking at how the industry can improve the efficiency, particularly vessel utilisation.
“With the support of industry partners BP, CNOOC International and Equinor, we are supporting PlanSea to develop a marine logistics optimisation capability which has the potential to unlock significant value on the UKCS through improved offshore logistics.”
PlanSea, launched in 2017, has RGU Energy Transition Institute director Paul de Leeuw as chairman.