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NEWS & INSIGHTS | article

OGTC celebrates third birthday as value created tops £15bn

10 February 2020

• £146m invested in partnership with industry generating £15bn in potential value for the UK
• 230 projects, 20 exciting technologies brought to market and 90 new jobs created
• Accelerating technologies for a net zero future and inspiring the next generation

In just three years, in partnership with industry and government, The Oil & Gas Technology (OGTC) has helped transform technology development in the UK oil and gas sector – and is leading the drive to create a net zero future.

Launched on 10 February 2017, with £180 million of funding from the Aberdeen Region City Deal, the Centre has now assessed over 1,000 individual technologies and co-invested £146 million within industry in 230 innovative projects.

From offshore robots and digital twins, to subsea cement and renewable power systems, 20 exciting new technologies have been brought to market, 90 new jobs created and a potential £15 billion in gross value added (GVA) generated for the UK economy.

Pioneering projects include:

• GDi’s digital twin and inspection modelling solution which is transforming offshore asset integrity and inspection – saving £2 million per platform or £50 million per year
• DeltaTek’s subsea cementing system for improving cement placement – deployed in 30% of the 2019 UK subsea well construction market, the technology could save up to £35 million per year
• Taurob and Total E&P’s world-first autonomous offshore robot for asset inspection – saving £128 million per year
• EC-OG’s marine renewable turbine for powering subsea infrastructure – reducing offshore carbon footprint while saving £20 million per year
• The multi-partner Hydrogen Offshore Project, proving the feasibility of decentralised hydrogen generation, storage and distribution as a scalable offshore hydrogen production

In September 2019, the OGTC launched its Net Zero Solution Centre to accelerate the development and deployment of technologies to decarbonise offshore operations and develop the UKCS as the first net zero oil and gas basin globally, supporting the industry’s Roadmap 2035. 18 operators and supply chain companies are now actively engaged, the first phase of projects is being developed and strong international partnerships have been developed with the Netherlands, Norway and Denmark.

With more than 300 applicants, the OGTC’s technology accelerator, TechX, has harnessed the entrepreneurial talent of start-up companies from across the world, fast-tracking their development and growth. From subsea swarm robotics to a lab on a microchip to technology for converting waste heat into electricity, TechX has invested £3 million in 21 companies, completing 10 field trials, generating 22 new jobs and creating two new facilities.

The Centre has also created two new national research and development (R&D) centres: the National Decommissioning Centre in partnership with the University of Aberdeen, opened in January 2019 and the National Subsea Centre in partnership with Robert Gordon University, which will launch in mid-2020. Both Centres are creating exciting R&D programmes providing access to the brightest and best academic minds to help companies develop new technologies.

Inspiring a culture of innovation amongst young people, companies and the wider community has been at the heart of the OGTC’s approach since day one. Since opening its doors, more than 22,000 people have visited the Centre attending hundreds of events, tech talks and showcases. STEM and diversity and inclusion have been at the forefront, including the largest Lego League in the UK, support for the Aberdeen Science Centre and Women in Engineering programme.

Commenting on the OGTC’s achievements to date, CEO, Colette Cohen OBE, said: “We’re on a journey with industry, government and regulators including the Oil & Gas Authority to help transform our industry for the net zero future. It’s incredible to reflect on how much has been achieved by our talented team in a short period of time, but there’s so much more to do.

“Innovation and technology will be crucial to the development of an integrated net zero energy system; bringing together renewables, carbon capture usage and storage, alternative fuels like hydrogen and oil and gas to deliver a secure, sustainable energy mix for the UK.

“Creating successful partnerships has been central to our approach since day one and our success is built on the fantastic support of industry, government, academia and the wider north-east community. We’ll continue to develop new partnerships across the UK and international as we look to the future.”

UK Government minister, Douglas Ross, said: “It is fantastic to see the progress of the OGTC over the past three years in which it has achieved many impressive results.

“The Centre is a key part of the transformative Aberdeen City Region Deal, into which the UK and Scottish Governments are jointly investing £250 million to maximise the region’s strengths and spark innovation, ensuring a sustainable and prosperous future.

“I look forward to seeing the continued progress of the Centre in keeping Scotland at the forefront of the global energy industry as we adapt to a net zero society.”

Scottish Government minister, Paul Wheelhouse, said: “Since its creation three years ago the OGTC has played a key role in the Scottish Government’s aims to create a sustainable, secure and inclusive energy transition for Scotland, thanks to its commitment to innovation, collaboration and the development and deployment of new technologies. Its Net Zero Solution Centre will support the sector’s ambition to become the first net zero hydrocarbon basin in the world – a key element of a sustainable, secure and inclusive energy transition.

“It’s through the success of organisations like the OGTC, which has received £180 million investment from the joint Scottish and UK Government Aberdeen City Region Deal, that we will see Aberdeen transition from being Europe’s oil and gas capital to being recognised as a truly global energy city – further demonstrating the additional benefits brought about by City Deals and Growth Deals.”

Aberdeen City Council Co-Leader, Councillor Jenny Laing said: “The OGTC is a wonderful example of what can be achieved when the public and private sectors work together for long-term economic, environmental and social goals. The recently published Aberdeen Economic Policy Panel report underlined the continuing significance of the oil and gas sector whilst stressing the need for diversification within the energy sector.

“As we transition to net zero, the qualities that have helped us succeed in the North Sea will ensure that the Aberdeen City Region continues to lead and inspire as we look to develop renewable technologies. At the same time, the research taking place on decommissioning and subsea – both driven by the OGTC – and the efforts to green oil and gas production means that we are perfectly placed to consolidate our position as a global energy capital.”

Aberdeenshire Council Leader, Councillor Jim Gifford, welcomed the anniversary saying: “The OGTC was one of the first ‘bricks and mortar’ projects to come from our City Region Deal, and a clear demonstration of our collective aims and aspirations. Since it was established we have met with the leadership of the OGTC regularly through our Joint Committee. This allows us all to keep updated on the work they are doing.

“For me, the strength of the OGTC is the mechanism it provides to support new ideas and bring them to market. It is about fostering an entrepreneurial attitude across the sector, and work done through the TechX programmes gives equality of opportunity from the pool of entrepreneurs.

“The past three years have been pioneering for the OGTC, and we wish them all the best for the future.”

Andy Samuel, Chief Executive of the Oil and Gas Authority said: “Over the past three years, the OGTC has gone above and beyond to drive technology development in the UK oil and gas industry, creating many valuable opportunities for companies, individuals and academia.

“Technologies supported via the OGTC have a powerful impact across the whole oil and gas lifecycle. With technology, innovation and integration playing such a critical role in the route to net zero, the OGA will continue to work closely with the OGTC and industry on technology development and deployment.”

Sir Ian Wood, Chairman of Opportunity North East said: “The OGTC has developed very successfully over the last three years and is now playing a significant role in growing and anchoring our oil and gas supply chain in the North East of Scotland long term, beyond the North Sea. The technology developed will significantly enhance and maximise the economic recovery of our North Sea oil and gas reserves and grow our international reputation and reach.

“Alongside this, the OGTC’s Net Zero Solution Centre will undoubtedly help develop an important renewables industry in the North East of Scotland contributing significantly to achieving net zero by 2050. Opportunity North East’s plans for an Energy Transition Zone are complementary and, between them, with the new Aberdeen South Harbour and the significant potential of St Fergus for CCS, there’s every opportunity to develop a global energy transition cluster in our region.”

Deirdre Michie, OGUK’s chief executive, said: “New technology plays a crucial role in pioneering lower carbon solutions as we look towards a net zero future, and this is thanks to the ground-breaking thinking and innovations developed by our world-class supply chain.
“The OGTC is integral to all of this and its achievements over the past few years, including the launch of its Net Zero Solution Centre, are really impressive and they should be proud of what they have achieved.

“Roadmap 2035 shows we are already playing an active role in the transition to a more diverse energy mix, with many of our members developing new technologies and bringing them to market, and the OGTC is vital to these moving forward.”

Look back at the OGTC’s achievements in the last three years:

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