State Secretary Liv Lønnum gave this speech on a seminar about Norwegian subsea techology on May 6th at OTC Exhibition, NRG Center in Houston, Texas.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Good afternoon to you all.
Let me first give my thanks to OTC, giving Norway the opportunity to participate in the "Around the World Series".
It has been a great start to this year's OTC, and it is only getting better, as we now will present the latest advances in subsea technology.
In that respect, let`s go to basics by taking you back 50 years, to 1969.
This was, without doubt, an eventful year:
- The moon landing.
- The first OTC in Houston.
- And we struck oil on the Norwegian Continental shelf - with great help from our American partners.
As some of you may know, technology transfer from Houston was essential to the Norwegian oil industry in the 1970's.
It was an important foundation, for developing our own offshore industry.
What is perhaps the main symbol of the Norwegian offshore achievements, has been the development of subsea technology.
It is also a technology, which proves that "necessity is the mother of invention".
High costs and low oil prices in the end of the 80's gave a push for the technological breakthrough of subsea solutions, as it had the potential to:
- Lower costs
- Increase production
- And getting to the deep sea resources out of reach for conventional platforms.
Since then, Norwegian subsea technology has continued to evolve.
Today it is an industry recognized as:
- World leading when it comes to expertise and solutions for deep water operations in challenging conditions.
- In addition, the industry has highly competent people,a focus on research and development and a willingness to adapt.
The main message however, looking at the big picture, is the same as when subsea technology was in the cradle:
It is about turning natural resources into value and welfare, and doing it in a safe, efficient and emission reduced manner.
In achieving this Houston, we are not having a problem, just a few challenges. And - as we saw with the birth of subsea technology - with challenges comes solutions.
Today, (after 50 years of O&G activity), we still have a high activity level on the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS), with more than 80 fields in operation. Nine development plans were approved last year. And, it is no doubt that the subsea technology has served us well with the majority of new fields now being tie-backs.
Tie-ins of smaller and medium-sized fields to existing infrastructure is clearly a win-win situation.
It means lower cost for developing the field, and increased recovery and extended lifetime for the host field, as their operating cost will be reduced.
Development of satellite fields is therefore extremely important for future value creation on the NCS.
We also have a few major subsea development like Snøhvit and Ormen Lange, without a fixed of floating unit. Instead, a subsea production system on the seabed feeds a land-based plant.
And, I am proud to see how the industry, through collaboration, is continuously moving the subsea technology forward, paving the way for subsea factories.
During the next few hours, you will hear more about the latest subsea advances – ranging from flow assurance to increased oil recovery.
We are indeed facing exiting times, and – hopefully - quantum leaps within subsea technology.
One example of such a quantum leap is subsea compression. A technology developed in Norway. Equinor is currently running two projects on the Norwegian shelf. If they succeed, this will increase the recovery rate and extend the life cycle in a cost effective manner.
And, not to forget digitalization, automation and robotics, which is becoming increasingly important. Not only in general, but also for the subsea industry.
It is about making things smarter, safer and easier.
The Norwegian subsea industry takes part in this development.
Such as big data. Oil and gas installations generate enormous amount of data, through thousands of sensors. There is a great potential to improve processes and develop new solutions by using these data.
Or automation, and unmanned platforms remotely controlled from land. This was a reality when the control room of the first unmanned platform on our shelf – Valemon – was opened in 2017.
You will hear many other examples of this exciting development at this seminar.
However, it is important not just to invent new technology, but to actually test it and use it offshore. That´s when you get actual results.
In this context, DEMO 2000 is a Norwegian research program that stimulates close cooperation between the supplier industry, oil companies and research institutes. The aim is to demonstrate and qualify new technology for upstream oil and gas activities.
I would say that this program has been quite successful and has fostered not only new technology, but also Spotlight-award winners here at the OTC.
This year, there are 3 winners (technologies) with support from DEMO 2000. XSENS - producer of Ultrasonic Clamp-on Flowmeter
(XACT), Siemens - producer of Subsea Power Grid, and NOV - producer of Subsea Automated Pig Launcher (SAPL).
Congratulations to you all!
Also, congratulation to FutureOn, another Norwegian company receiving the OTC-Spotlight-award for their cloud-based, collaboration application, FieldAP.
As the theme of this year's OTC is "the next 50 years of offshore developments", let me assure you that the Norwegian subsea industry has what is required to be your partners now, and in the future.
I wish you a great seminar, best of luck on your future ventures and – thank you for your attention!