Opinion: Standing on the shoulders of giants

In the distant past of the year 1993, when I was but a wee scrap of a lad at eleven years old, I saw the future emblazoned in black and white print. An advert in the latest issue of 'Personal Computer World' shone out at me like a beacon, lighting the way to tomorrow - the Amstrad PenPad PDA600, a touchscreen PDA no bigger than a typical paperback book, with handwriting recognition, a stylus, and all sorts of glorious applications for storing data and keeping notes. I had to have it.

Renewables/Energy Transition

Technology created by Aquamarine goes up for sale

Technology developed by wave energy company Aquamarine Power has been put up for sale as its administrators try to recoup some of the £90 million invested in the business. Graham Newton and James Stephen from accountancy firm BDO were appointed as administrators of the Edinburgh-based company in October. They were asked by its directors to find a buyer or investors for the business, but a month later in November no offers were on the table and so the firm ceased trading, with the loss of 13 jobs in Edinburgh and one in Belfast.

Oil & Gas

Technology firm wins £1.2million Scottish Government grant

An Aberdeen technology firm has won a £1.2million Scottish Government grant to develop an innovative subsea power generation system. East Coast Oil and Gas Engineering (ECOG) has invested £3.9million in the autonomous electrical power technology which has been designed to reduce the cost of repairing or replacing umbilicals after all-too common power failures.

Oil & Gas

BP says emerging technologies could unlock surge of new energy

Oil major BP said the world is no longer at risk of running out of oil and gas for decades ahead of existing technology capable of unlocking global reserves. In its latest technology report the company said energy reserves could be set to double by 2050 despite the high level of consumption currently. The company said when all accessible forms of energy – including nuclear, wind and solar – are taken into account, there is enough resources to meet 20 times what the world will need over that period.

Other News

Statoil joins force with Norwegian University to fund energy research

Statoil and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) have signed an agreement on research funding for future energy solutions. The group, with a total budget of NOK 50million over the next four years, will look to build-up a research group which can help develop sustainable energy solutions. The first move will be to recruit a researcher who can guide the work and build up the research group based at NTNU in Trondheim.

Other News

Peak launches well bore tubing tool

Peak Well Systems has developed a tool which can confirm the minimum diameter specification of well bore tubing with the ability to cover a range of services. The company said FlexiDrift consists of a mandrel with two sets of extendable rails that can be manually extended with ease using the adjustment sleeves to the desired radius of the well tubing. When run downhole, the positioning of the extended rails provides the highest radial contact across the widest operating range of required drift sizes.

Oil & Gas

Jobs machine from Canada oil slows as robots add to price slump

Truck driver Craig Huzulak is unemployed after losing his job four times since December -- the new normal in a Canadian oil patch still reeling from a downturn. Huzulak, 49, was working at a mine last year near Fort McMurray, Alberta, when crude prices plunged and work dried up. He lost two more positions in the following months and then had a job offer yanked at the end of June before he could even start. In addition to the market rout, the father of two now worries about the self-driving trucks Suncor Energy Inc. is rolling out in its oil-sands mining operations that will replace workers like him to save companies money. “It’s really, really hard for heavy-equipment operators,” said Huzulak, who has driven trucks and worked on drilling rigs in Western Canada for 15 years. “There’s a lot more fear now that this might last longer.”

Other News

Atlantic Offshore Rescue to unveil Ocean Falcon

Atlantic Offshore Rescue is to unveil the third vessel of its modernisation programme. The standby vessel operator will showcase the Ocean Falcon, which totals £300million, at a ceremony in Aberdeen today. Ocean Falcon is a new H820 design from Havyard Ship Design. It was built and developed in Passai, Spain by Zamakona shipbuilders, in close collaboration with Atlantic Offshore Rescue over an 18 month period.


Opinion: The key emerging technologies for oil and gas

When emerging technologies and key trends are discussed there is a vast array of suggestions made and debated. They range from wearable technology, 3D printing, bio-computers, through to the "internet of things" and many more.


Opinion: Austerity measures could be the mother of invention

This will be a challenging year for the North Sea but the necessary austerity may create a new appetite for near-to-market technologies. The average cost of bringing oil to the surface globally is around $7 a barrel, in the North Sea the average is $28, and in some of our fields it is nearly four times that. As a result, the second half of 2014 was brutal to North Sea operators’ profit and loss accounts with 2015 offering no respite. Operators are prioritising cost efficiencies and reappraising capital programmes, while the supply chain is doing its bit as part of the industry belt tightening.

Other News

The ‘black hole of sunlight’

A multi-disciplinary engineering team at the University of California, San Diego, have developed a new nanoparticle-based material for concentrating solar power plants designed to absorb and convert to heat more than 90% of the sunlight it captures. It is said the new material can also withstand temperatures greater than 700C and survive many years outdoors in spite of exposure to air and humidity. By contrast, current solar absorber material functions at lower temperatures and needs to be overhauled almost every year for high temperature operations.


ITF looks to latest technological innovations at DOT

The Industry Technology Facilitator (ITF) will be giving technology developers a platform at Deepsea Offshore Technology (DOT) International to showcase their newest innovations. A technology pavilion will take place with companies able to show off new deep water technologies.