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NEWS & INSIGHTS | article

Advancing Remote Operations: Developing lower carbon remote operations

08 September 2021 3 minute read

Developing remote operations to create safer, more efficient and lower carbon operations.

Optimised manning and the transition of personnel from hazardous offshore working environments to a more remotely operated onshore model, has a key role to play in decarbonising the UKCS basin and helping the Oil and Gas Industry achieve its Vision 2035 net zero objectives.

The Advancing Remote Operations (ARO) project will serve as a “lighthouse project” that will both inspire and equip the wider industry with the tools, technology, techniques and approaches required to successfully employ remote operations technology and optimised manning practices in their brownfield operations in the UKCS.

The project will be delivered over a period of 30 months covering multiple deliverables from workforce modelling, change management and commercial models to testing of technologies such as digital twins, robotics, and automated systems.

Widespread remote operation of UKCS assets offers a significant reduction in associated emissions. Employing optimised manning practices and remote operations technology delivers multiple benefits that centre around reduced operational cost, extended asset life, improved production efficiency and reduced CO2e emissions.

It is important to consider the wider impact these benefits would bring to Scotland as a whole.  Significant CO2e reduction potential would be delivered through improved production efficiency brought about by optimised manning practices and remote operations technology. It would also bring about further CO2 savings in the form of reduced power generation for systems that support life offshore and the significantly reduced operational support utilisation, e.g. helicopter and vessel mobilisations.

The long-term vision of this project is to deliver new remote operations capabilities through the establishment of a Remote Operations Centre of Excellence (ROCE) in a future project phase.

The successful establishment of the ROCE will create and protect high value jobs in Scotland and will also provide the opportunity for the development of next generation skills and expertise in remote operations and associated disciplines.  In addition, it will bring competitive and first mover advantage to the North-east of Scotland in remote operations technology and capability, leveraging our position as a centre of Scottish engineering innovation while also providing global export potential across multiple industry sectors.

Net Zero Technology Transition Programme

In August 2021, the Net Zero Technology Centre was awarded £16.5million from the Scottish Government’s Energy Transition Fund. The award, match-funded by industry, will drive seven projects:

The projects are designed to develop the skills, technologies, and infrastructure that Scotland needs to deliver an affordable green economic recovery.

We don’t simply want to deliver net zero for the UK, we want to seize the full economic benefits of doing so in a global market with huge export potential – and maintain that advantage long into the future.

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