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  • Combining resources necessary to improve offshore safety

    Offshore wind farms are becoming a greater part of the UK’s energy mix. However, the move toward renewables has also led to questions on how to improve health and safety for employees working in the industry.

    Recently, the Offshore Group of the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) recently held an event to discuss how the renewables, marine and oil and gas sectors could collaborate to address the health and safety challenges associated with the offshore sectors.

    The event, which was hosted at the Stadium of Light in Sheffield, was entitled Let's Talk: exploring the synergies and differences between the offshore oil and gas and offshore renewables sector. It examined the risks faced by these industries and how they could work together effectively to address them, such as conducting joint exercises and sharing resources.

    Simon Hatson, Chair of IOSH's Offshore Group, stated:

    “As the offshore windfarms are being built further offshore and the sectors are required to work even closer to each other, it is essential that we consider the safety and health implications of this.

    "As was recognised throughout the event, within our industry it is vital that, where we can, we seek to combine our knowledge and resources to put robust safety and health management systems in place. This way we can share our knowledge, efforts and provisions to continue to protect our workers from harm.”

    Hatson added that introducing these systems would also benefit the sector by enabling it to become more productive and efficient.

    Industry Concerns

    Industry representatives used the event as an opportunity to raise their specific concerns, such as the challenges posed due to the different regulatory regimes in place for each sector. However, Chris Streatfield of RenewableUK stressed that “this does not mean the sectors cannot combine to protect employees”.

    Peter Lowson of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency highlighted the possibility of vessels colliding or helicopter accidents. However, he felt the risk of such accidents could be reduced by sharing resources.

    Offshore wind farms

    The amount of electricity produced from offshore wind increased by more than 25 per cent in the first quarter of 2016, and given the growing role it is likely to play energy security, it is vital that the health and safety concerns are addressed.

    DONG Energy are currently leading the way in the offshore wind power sector, and it recently committed to building the world’s largest wind farm, Hornsea Project One, which will have the capacity to power more than one million homes. 

  • Cryogenic Control Valves & Equipment for the Industrial Gas Industry

    CPC-Cryolab produces state-of-the-art cryogenic valves and other advanced technology to the aerospace and industrial gas industries. Industrial gas producers such as Air Products and Chemicals, Praxair, Linde (BOC) and Air Liquide have all specified CPC valves to satisfy exacting materials and safety requirements. In addition, CPC was the primary valve supplier to the Super-Conducting Super-Collider (SSC) project for both magnet cooling and liquefier production.

    CPC has designed and manufactured valves, filters, manifolds and fill hoses for the space shuttle controlling the liquid oxygen and hydrogen used for engine fuel, breathing gas, and fuel cell power generation.

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    CPC-Cryolab - Products  Vacuum Jacketed Valves  Extended Stem Valves  Extended Bonnet Valves  Bellow Seal Valves  Gas Valves  Actuators  Pressure Relief Discs  Cryogenic Connections.mht

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  • Report highlights need for fresh investment in the oil and gas industry

    A new report shows how competitiveness in the oil and gas industry is improving, The Oil and Gas UK economic report also highlights how the cost of extracting oil and gas have fallen dramatically and how productivity has increased by 10%. However, it also details the importance of new investment into the sector.

    Lack of capital investment and exploration

    Another factor highlighted in the report is the declining capital investment for the industry: £9 billion was invested in 2015, compared with over £14 billion in 2014. In addition, job losses are a continuing concern for the sector, as well as declining revenues for the supply chain, which fell by 30 per cent.

    The report goes on to explain how the lack of exploration continues to be a concern. It states that there are low levels of exploration, with only ten wells subject to exploration and appraisal activity in 2015.  In addition, only one new field received approval, and brownfield investment was also on the decline with just five projects given the go ahead in 2016.

    Commenting on the report, Oil & Gas UK’s chief executive, Deidre Michie said:

    “The UKCS is in urgent need of fresh investment to boost exploration and drive activity, particularly for the supply chain.

     “Exploration has fallen to record lows and little new investment has been approved in 2016 and 2017 looks no better.  Increased asset trading is one area that could free up new investment by facilitating the trading of late-life assets.”

    Calls for government action and recognition

    As a result of the report’s findings, Michie is urging the government to “champion the UK’s oil and gas industry”. One of the measures Michie specifically called for was ‘encouragement’ for new entrants into the sector.

    Although Oil and Gas UK remain focused on increasing productivity and efficiency, while reducing costs in the sector, it’s still asking that the Oil and Gas authority, the Department of Business Energy and Industrial strategy and HM Treasury offer further support for the industry.

    One of the steps Oil and Gas UK have requested is for the government to reaffirm its commitment to the Driving Investment Strategy, which was first published in 2014. The Strategy detailed the need for reform in the industry; reforms already introduced were aimed at increasing exploration and aiding the UCKS to compete for investment, however, despite these efforts, exploration is now at an all-time low.

    Oil and Gas UK also ask industry and government bodies to “work together to create a low tax, high activity province which can continue to support the important supply chain based here and position our sector in the best place to take advantage of any potential upturn.”

  • SNS Special Interest Group announces appointment of steering group

    The Oil and Gas Authority has announced the appointment of a steering group that will look at opportunities to maximise the remaining gas reserves in the Southern Northern Sea (SNS). The SNS Rejuvenation Special Interest Group is a joint initiative with Oil and Gas UK and the East of England Energy Group (EEEGR) and it consists of operators, supply chain organisations, service businesses and duty holders.

    Members of the steering group include high-profile oil companies such as Shell, Centrica and Premier Oil.

    Eric Marston, Southern North Sea and Morecambe Bay manager for the Oil and Gas Authority, launched the event. He stated that he expects the SNS to be a ‘key contributor’ to help fuel the UK into the foreseeable future. However, Marston also explained the challenges facing exploration in the SNS due to limited accessibility, the costs involved and the commercial risks.

    Simon Gray, chief executive of EEEGR, described the steering group as a vital piece of work that could help secure the future of the industry for the East region of the UK.

    SIG’s Remit

    SIG has set itself a vast remit, which aims to “maximise economic recovery (MER) of gas reserves for at least another 20 years by identifying new opportunities, including examining the potential for carboniferous gas reserves”.

    Another ambition of the newly-formed steering group is to develop deeper collaborations with its current operators and with offshore wind developers. It also aims to drive down costs by examining standardisation to streamline processes and equipment use.

    Commenting on the launch, Deirdre Mickie, chief executive of Oil and Gas UK, said:

    “Oil and Gas UK recognises the key role that the SNS gas fields play for UKPLC and we are keen to ensure that our members play a major part in ensuring the future role of these important assets for the nation for generations to come

    The inaugural meeting is due to be held in December.

    The need for exploration and investment

    Figures released by Oil and Gas UK earlier in 2016 illustrated the significant reductions in exploration, especially in the North Sea, and there were also concerns over the limited funding made available for new projects. While new initiatives have been launched, they haven’t made a significant impact on the downward trend in exploration yet.

    Oil and Gas UK have previously called for more investment into the sector and a report released in 2016 noted the decline in capital investment, which had fallen to 9 billion in 2015.

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