2018 Offshore Technology Yearbook

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Page 48 of 55 | December 2017 | 47 nologies that have only fairly recently become fully accepted (subsea boosting) and some that have never been used, such as a nuclear-based power unit. In the decades since the SPS and the UMC, the subsea sector has propelled itself forward with a variety of technologies to meet the ongoing devel - opment demands, from variations of subsea pro- cessing (separation, boosting and compression) to steel catenary risers to electric christmas trees and more. Whatever has been asked for in the past three decades, the subsea industry has produced. Hope for subsea? So with the industry still mostly in the doldrums, can technology save it? In the aftermath of the oil price crash, Sir Ian Wood, founder of the Wood Group, the U.K.'s big- gest offshore engineering and support organiza- tion, was tasked with providing answers–and some hope–for a sector that was both aging and mori- bund. His eponymous report, which produced the catchphrase "maximizing economic recovery," or MER, recommended the creation of a new indus- try regulator. This resulted in the birth of the Oil & Gas Authority and a number of spinoff organi- zations that would help support the regulator in its onerous task of trying to revive a mature and costly sector. One of these organizations is the recently launched Oil & Gas Technology Centre (OGTC). It sounds a bit bizarre that a sector like the U.K., which has been producing oil and gas for more than 40 years, has only just created a govern- ment-funded technology body, but nevertheless OGTC has jumped into its task with both feet and launched a number of projects aimed at creating new opportunities in the sector. While one of its recently launched initiatives is correctly focusing on regional developments–how Just as our understanding of the subsurface has evolved, so too has our approach to designing subsea technologies. (Illustration courtesy of Baker Hughes, a GE company)

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