Voices: How can technology innovation improve?

November 5, 2013

Innovate or die. Newer and better tech is always needed in the oil & gas industry –even when companies aren’t exactly shouting to be first in line, OE asked: “How can technology innovation improve?

Gerald SchotmanThe offshore opportunity is vast. According to IEA, over 300 billion bbl of recoverable oil are estimated in deep water. To maximize this resource, we need to innovate how we innovate; take ocean bottom seismic and wide azimuth sensing, combined with Shell’s GeoSigns software. It delivers results beyond the usual. But to tackle future challenges in subsurface visualization, game-changing imaging solutions are needed. For Shell, it’s about collaborating with the best and brightest minds wherever they are, whatever sector they’re in, and however unusual the approach may be.

Gerald Schotman, Executive Vice President Innovation R&D and Chief Technology Officer for Shell

John BarrattUniversities and national laboratories routinely develop technologies having applicability in the petroleum industry. Most of these innovations will require substantial external investment. Early stage technology companies, funded by angel investors or venture capitalists, are a more appropriate source of innovation for the petroleum industry and these companies often welcome overtures from the oil industry. However, effective collaboration with small companies requires patience, a long term vision and constant recognition of the major organizational differences between large enterprises, such as oil & gas producers or oil service companies, and small start-ups.
 
John Barratt, CEO, Oil & Gas Innovation Center
 
Ian AndersonInnovative technologies tend to come with an element of risk. They are disruptive, threaten existing product lines and often have no track record – particularly with start-ups. In such cases, the offshore oil & gas sector needs to adopt a more open mind set and see change as an opportunity for technology advancement rather than a threat to existing products and short-term revenues. At Camcon, we have managed to get the industry’s support for our digital gas lift solution by partnering direct with operators but other innovations are not always as successful.
 
Ian Anderson, COO, Camcon Oil
 
Ian CrowtherInnovation thrives when there is sufficient reward to justify the investment and risk. Improving technology innovation is about putting the people and processes in place, and having the determination to drive through change. By taking a balanced approach, introducing technology in incremental steps, the benefits are realized and the process can be further stimulated and improved.
 
Ian Crowther, Sales and Marketing Director, WFS Technologies
 
Eivind GransaetherNorway has always fostered a positive environment towards innovation and Mirmorax has been fortunate to have the support of the industry and operators in developing our sampling and oil in water monitoring solutions. We have also enjoyed access to some of the world’s most advanced testing facilities to test our products and take us to the next level. However, there’s always room for improvement from ensuring that the right skills are available in the marketplace through to more cost effective platforms being available at industry events.
 
Eivind Gransaether, CEO, Mirmorax
 
John WarburtonAccess to new technologies and research is imperative for a company to continually improve. Companies need a great network amongst technologists around the world; at City, we have access to Honeywell’s research labs. It is important to balance research between work targeting specific outcomes (i.e. a widget that is 20% faster and 50% lower cost) and “blue sky” research that focuses on fundamental enablers – i.e. MEMS technology, lasers, wireless etc. By embracing both approaches, real innovation and creative results can be achieved.
 
John Warburton, Strategic Marketing Manager at City Technology
 
Trond OlsenInnovation happens in the interaction between qualified people. In my opinion we can increase and improve innovation by organizing people with different skills and qualifications in surroundings creating an open and relaxed atmosphere – however with a specific target to work against. When an idea for a technology innovation is born, it needs to be fertilized and developed. Then access to tools, resources and funding in order to continue the process is vital. Lack of means to follow up on ideas kills the innovative culture.
 
Trond Olsen, Chief Executive Officer, NCE Subsea
 

 



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