The chief executive of the new £180million Oil and Gas Technology Centre (OGTC) in Aberdeen yesterday revealed she had already filled a number of keys posts.
Colette Cohen, who officially took up the reins on September 1, said OGTC was still in an “embryonic state” and was settling into its base at 20 Queen’s Road, the former home of now-defunct Iona Energy.
“We don’t officially claim to have opened our doors because we’re still trying to actually make the doors work,” said Ms Cohen, who until recently held the role of senior vice-president for the UK and the Netherlands at Centrica.
Ms Cohen said OGTC was just “starting the thought process” to understand what the industry needed from the organisation, how it would function, and which projects it should go after.
Despite being in its infancy, she wants OGTC to be working on projects and spending money by the end of the year.
The initiative for OGTC − part funded by the Aberdeen City Deal – came from economic development agency Opportunity North East, whose chairman is Sir Ian Wood.
OGTC’s aim is to make the north-east a focal point for oil and gas technology by helping companies develop and deploy new products and processes that can reduce costs.
It is setting up a number of “solution centres” to tackle challenges facing the industry, including asset integrity, well construction, exploiting small pools and decommissioning.
Malcolm Banks, formerly of BP, will head up the solution centre for wells, Rebecca Allison, most recently of Lloyd’s Register, is responsible for asset integrity, and Chris Pearson, a consultant whose previous employers include BG Group, takes charge of small pools.
Mark Lappin, another former Centrica employee, is OGTC’s director of university and government relations, and Luca Corradi has become the organisation’s first innovation network director after leaving Accenture.
An appointment for decommissioning has yet to be made.
Ms Cohen said OGTC and its leadership team would do everything they could to kick start the industry.
“There is a recognition that if the oil price comes back it is not going to save a lot of companies and fields which are too far gone,” Ms Cohen she said at a decommissioning technology event organised by Decom North Sea and the Oil and Gas Innovation Centre.
“We need to change processes and attitudes to technology and work together.
“We want to give the industry a chance to kick start itself. The OGTC can leverage a lot of funding and if we all work together we can gear it up even further. I hope that’s the attitude we encounter.”