ITF’s team of technology analysts is central to the company’s operation and in this issue of The Facilitator, technology analyst, Lisa Hutchison, talks about her experience since joining ITF.
I joined ITF after graduating from Edinburgh University with a BSc three years ago, and I’m currently studying part-time for an MSc in project management. Working here has given me a fascinating insight into the range of issues facing the oil and gas industry today, and the role that technology development can play in tackling them.
Understanding members’ needs
ITF’s primary remit is to launch joint industry projects that are supported by its member companies, and while we do accept unsolicited proposals, much of our activity revolves around technology themed calls for proposals. The starting point for these calls is to identify our members’ technology needs and the areas they are interested in tackling collaboratively.
ITF also holds regular meetings with individual member companies during which we can get a more detailed understanding of issues that they would like to prioritise, and we collate this information to define the technical areas that we should focus on progressing.
Since joining ITF I have also taken the opportunity to get involved in a number of industry organisations and workgroups. I sit on the committee of the Well Suspension and Abandonment (WSA) workgroup and am also an ICoTA (Intervention and Coiled Tubing Association) committee member. This has been a good way of getting more involved in the industry discussions about these important areas.
A thematic approach
One of the topics identified by our members during 2014 was ‘Drilling Improvement Initiatives’ and I have been leading work in this theme. It’s a broad topic, so the first step was to undertake a landscaping study, which involved interviews with member companies to find out more about their individual needs and interests within it. A number of technology themed workshops, which will allow us to drill down to the detail of the challenges, and calls for proposals are now planned as a result.
For joint industry projects that are underway, we usually keep in touch with progress through attendance at steering committee meetings, and often get involved with seeking support for further phases of work. For example, I worked on the launch of Viper Subsea’s V-SLIM JIP, which was kicked-off at the end of 2013, and have attended steering committee meetings for that. V-SLIM is a subsea insulation resistance and electrical integrity monitoring unit that has been developed to identify and locate line insulation faults in subsea electrical distribution systems without affecting reliability.
I think steering committee meetings are one of the most interesting aspects of being a technology analyst at ITF – it’s a chance to see the tangible benefits of all the effort that has gone into the project launch process.