Voices: “What role should national governments have in funding research and development in the oil and gas industry?”

A helping hand. When it comes to new technology, OE asked:

“What role should national governments have in funding research and development in the oil and gas industry?”

Research and development is key to competition, innovation and attracting financial investment in oil and gas. In emerging markets, the role of national government is to support business, by equipping a young, evolving workforce with the necessary skills to succeed in the industry. In hubs such as Aberdeen and Houston, the economic benefits of state investment in education are already evident. These cities have understood the need for specialist programs and are net exporters of technology and expertise. The Transforming Futures Programme at UOG 2014, a pioneering skills exchange initiative, will promote training for young people and encourage further funding in this area.
Joshua Beagelman, COO, Universal Oil & Gas
It is in the interest of governments to provide an element of support for the development of new technologies for the oil & gas sector to enable the planet to make the best use of the reserves available. The technology-led solutions delivered by supply chain companies are invaluable in helping to discover and recover increasingly hard-to-reach hydrocarbon reserves and further investment in research and development by these companies and government working in partnership can only benefit the sector.
George Rafferty, CEO, NOF Energy
The Federal government’s role is critically important in early-stage technology development, both as a catalyst and as an eliminator of risk. Government support is typically required to advance a technology to the point where it is commercially viable. For first-of-a-kind technologies with heavy upfront costs, government support is often required to eliminate risk and encourage private investment. Support need not be monetary. An example would be in streamlined permitting and regulatory approvals that can provide the necessary of assurance for those investing their own business development funds. Government cooperation with industry can help secure market acceptance of early adoption of new technologies.
Charles D. McConnell, Executive Director, Energy and Environment
Initiative (e2i) It is an immense national advantage to have oil and gas resources. Research and development funding from national governments is essential to create wealth and to meet national and corporate production targets. Technology development is a joint commitment; government fostering knowledge creation through incentives and financial support, with industry facilitating delivery to access profits, security, and sustainable growth.
David Liddle, Business Development Executive, Society for Underwater Technology
We face large technological challenges in order to reach IOR targets, develop marginal fields and keep costs down. Commitment to R&D and innovation is crucial. Government funding in an early phase is vital in order to capture ideas and secure innovation. It triggers investments by the industry, and is highly profitable for both industry and society.
Erling Kvadsheim, Director, industry policy, Norwegian Oil and Gas Association (Norse olje & gass)


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