Additive manufacturing and unmanned robotics have topped a list of key new technologies for the oil and gas industry.
The two were identified as part of a survey of exhibitors at Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) in Houston by risk consultancy services group Lloyd’s Register.
It found that that adoption of new technologies is seen as the critical business issue for the next 18 months.
The survey of exhibitors found that more than 43% of respondents consider adoption of new technologies including additive manufacturing (or 3D Printing) and the use of unmanned robotics to be the primary issue.
Using new technologies from other industries (17%); better collaboration within the industry (16%); data rationalization and interpretation techniques (13%); and education initiatives for graduates and new industry entrants (11%), were also seen to be important issues.
To achieve these aims, Lloyds Register suggests a sharper focus on driving excellence by collaborating and increasing the interconnected global network of knowledge across the energy and marine industries.
“It is widely accepted that excellence through innovation is key to safe and profitable growth across industry – and that collaboration can accelerate the development of innovative new technologies to help support better and cheaper ways of extracting and supplying energy,” says Teril Smith, Senior Vice President of Lloyd’s Register Energy in Houston, Texas.
According to its annual 2015-16 Oil & Gas Technology Radar survey, which researches the latest opinion of oil and gas executives across the world, “operational efficiency” is now the top driver for innovation investment. “Improving access to potential reserves” and “increasing the life span of assets” also rated more highly as innovation drivers this year compared to the previous 12 months, suggesting that, as well as nudging down the bottom line, companies are looking to push up the top line by extracting maximum value from resources.
Lloyd's Register's Global Technology Centre, based out of Singapore, is driving research in to how data can be used to improve integrity; the use of unmanned aerial systems for faster and cost-effective inspection, as well as running joint industry projects such as the role additive manufacturing.
"In this environment, staying afloat requires a new type of inventiveness and open mindedness; an eager and proactive search for novel technologies, approaches and ways of working," the firm says.