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Deepwater and Arctic in the spotlight at Oceanology International

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The highly topical oil and gas areas of deepwater and Arctic exploitation will be firmly in the spotlight at Oceanology International 2012 (Tuesday 13 – Thursday 15 March 2012, London, ExCeL, UK) the global forum where industry, academia and government share knowledge and connect with the marine technology and ocean science community, improving their strategies for measuring, exploiting, protecting and operating in the world’s oceans.

On Day 2 of the show, a full conference day will be devoted to oil and gas with the specific emphasis on these frontier areas. “The session has the title ‘oil and gas’ which is very general, but in fact there is a focus theme to the session, ” explains Colin Grant, Advisor & SETA – Metocean, BP – Subsea & Floating Systems Upstream Engineering Centre, who chairs this conference. “What we are finding is that the new areas of exploitation for the oil and gas industry increasingly are in deepwater, and cold regions or Arctic areas, so the theme around the session will be the challenges faced in those areas and the technologies and skills that are needed to overcome those challenges.”

“The demand for oil and gas is expected to increase steadily in the coming years, explains Event Manager, James Coleman of Reed Exhibitions. “BP estimates that the world has sufficient proven reserves for over 40 years of oil and 60 years of gas, at today’s consumption rates. Increasingly these reserves are located in frontier locations such as deepwater and arctic regions. These locations provide significant challenges to the industry in a range of respects, not least of which are the meteorological and oceanographic (metocean) conditions that must be overcome in order to explore, develop and produce the resources. Colin Grant explains in a preview video on the Oceanology International website at www.oceanologyinternational.com/page.cfm/link=118: “We have some interesting papers from a mix of academics, consultants and operators. One presentation covers internal waves, or solitons, in the ocean which are important for both operations and design of equipment like marine risers. We have a joint industry project on that subject and the project manager is coming to tell us where that has got to.” “We’ve also got some papers around some of the results of activity that took place in the Gulf of Mexico recently, merging things like remote sensing data with numerical models and in situ measurements to improve predictability of oil spills for instance.”

The conference begins with a keynote address ‘The US IOOS Response to the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill: the critical role of modern ocean observing networks’ by Dr Scott Glenn of Rutgers University. “Then we have a presentation on a new guideline document for HSE in Arctic areas which has been published by the International Association of Oil and Gas Producers, so I think there is a range of activities that are going to be covered of interest to people working in deepwater and Arctic areas.”

Colin Grant is looking forward to seeing a wide range of people at the conference, both in terms of the sectors covered by speakers, and also where they are in their career in the industry, seeing the session of interest to both new entrants wanting to find out what is going on, through to more seasoned professionals who might be just starting to get involved with places like deepwater or the Arctic and want to find out what the challenges are, and what some of the techniques and technologies are for addressing those challenges. And, in the video, he stresses the importance of them being able to ask questions and interact with others in the room – a key component of a topical and vital event such as Oceanology International.

Following an introduction by Colin Grant and Dr Glenn’s keynote address, Andy Brown of CAS International will look at Gulf of Mexico deepwater current structure observations; and Tom Johnson of BMT SMS will consider Survey experience with integrated metocean and structural integrity monitoring on 25 deepwater floating production platforms.

Dr. Gus Jeans of Fugro GEOS/Oceanalysis will consider Worldwide internal soliton criteria, to be followed by Rune Nielsen of Shell giving a presentation entitles Surveys on sea ice – from an HSE perspective, the new OGP 447 guidelines. During the afternoon Kim Partington (with D Power & W Spring) of Polar Imaging will cover the development of standards and guidelines for the use of satellite based ice information in the oil and gas sector; and James Farley Nicholls of Imperial College will present on coupled modelling of the Caspian Sea. The final two presentations are Ocean radar to monitor sea currents for offshore structures – West Africa project by Laurent Vigier of Actimar; and Martin Insley of Tullow Oil speaking about satellite radar support to drilling operations off French Guyana.

As Colin Grant’s colleague, Andy Hill, Marine Geohazard Technical Authority, BP Exploration, who is chairing the Hydrography & Geophysics conference stream, explains in another video on the Oceanology website www.oceanologyinternational.com/page.cfm/link=113: “From the offshore industry’s point of view this conference covers the whole range of marine sciences that are relevant to the oil industry; we have subsurface, environmental, marine sciences, metocean and subsea engineering. They are all covered. This is is a great range of sciences that are presented at the conference and on the floor of the show itself, all the technology is there and we can actually understand how it all works together and we can speak to the contractors that are involved in it and that support our services.”

Highlighting the fact that BP is supporting and sponsoring Oceanology International, Andy Hill explains: “It is significant, this is a growing area of importance to our work and the integrity of our offshore operations. Marine sciences isn’t just a matter of being able to find oil and gas, it is a matter of being able to produce it safely, put our facilities in the right position, understand the environment in which we are operating in totality, and Oceanology covers all of those areas, it provides us with the links to our contractors and academia that provide the support to our services.” Both the Oceanology International exhibition and all conference sessions are free to attend.

Registration is open at www.oceanologyinternational.com for the biennial event with its 525 exhibitors from 29 countries (as at early January); and nearly 60 presentations in six one-day conferences – the others being Marine Renewables; Navigation & Positioning – with its theme ‘Putting technology to work’; Maritime Security; Hydrography & Geophysics; and Ocean Observation & Forecasting – all with relevance to the offshore oil and gas industry.   Oceanology International is held in association with the Society for Underwater Technology, supported by the Hydrographic Society, IMarEST, IMCA, MTS, RenewableUK, the Royal Navy, SMI, and the UKTI Defence & Security Organisation. BP is sponsoring the conference with other sponsors including Calecore, Canadian High Commission, Cygnus Instruments, Garsdline, Reson, TE Connectivity, Teledyne Marine and Veripos.

(Source: Ocean Space bulletin 3rd Februry 2012 – deriving from the “Offshore Shipping online”, a publicaton for the Offshre shipping Industry published by Clarkson)

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