Rolling Technology Programme

delivering a global agenda

ITF works with our members and stakeholder partners to identify the key areas where technology is required to address common industry opportunities or challenges across the world.

Our current disciplines, that make up the Rolling Technology Programme, are broken down into the following sections:

Drilling & Wells – Technology involved in the construction of oil and gas wells, this can be to reduce cost, increase efficiency or improve the safety of operations.

Subsurface – Technologies to advance the oil and gas industries ability to measure, process and interpret seismic data to allow better understanding of formations targeted for appraisal and development.

Subsea – For subsea developments, the wells are completed with Christmas trees on the seafloor, with hydrocarbons transported to fixed or floating platforms via seafloor pipelines and riser pipelines ascending from the seafloor to the surface facility.  Industry trends are for more facilities to be on the seafloor, including subsea processing equipment, and for the platform facilities to be more remote from the subsea wells, in some cases tied back to shore. 

Facilities & Process – This area covers technologies used to process, flow assure and produce hydrocarbons, as well as measure and control within platforms and floating production systems. 

Decommissioning – This covers technologies and processes that can make the physical removal of structures at the end of their life cheaper, safer and with less environmental impact.

Within these disciplines, further themes are created.  Details of these themes can be found in the drop down table below.

Drilling & Wells
Facilities & Process

Running Themes 2017

Well Plugging & Abandonment

ITF worked with Decom North Sea (DNS) and the Oil & Gas UK Decommissioning Sub-Committee to pull together a group representing the UK abandonment community with the aim of defining the key technology priorities in abandonment and identifying mechanisms to collaborate on the development of required new technologies. In parallel to this, ITF conducted a survey of our members to identify technology challenges in abandonment.

During 2016 ITF undertook calls for proposals on:

  • Through Tubing Logging
  • Removal of Casing
  • Alternatives to Cement

During 2017 ITF will continue to work with industry on the remaining highlighted challenge areas:

  • Annulus monitoring and access in Subsea wells
  • Barrier Verification
  • Efficient Subsea Wellhead Cutting for P&A
  • Cutting and removal of in-well cables

Improved Reservoir Imaging

During the course of 2016, ITF members identified ‘Improved Subsurface Imaging and Interpretation’ as a technology area of significant interest. 

As a result, ITF launched an Improved Reservoir Imaging call seeking proposals to develop techniques and technologies to improve reservoir imaging in hydrocarbon exploration and production.  As part of the call ITF looked for projects to meet the challenge of co-processing seismic and non-seismic geophysical and petrophysical techniques to allow for better integration of data. Several geophysical and petrophysical data types are often collected for a field - this may include seismic, gravity, magnetics, CSEM, borehole images and resistivity. However, there is limited ability to merge these data sets for more reliable and perhaps higher resolution reservoir imaging.

25 Expressions of Interest (EOI’s) that addressed this call were received; including methods of electrical impedance tomography, advanced 4D methods in carbonates and seismic amplitude migration.

ITF are currently facilitating a number of meetings between developers and members.

Applied Geomechanics

The safe drilling of wells requires a detailed pre-drill prediction of pore pressures, fracture gradients and potential wellbore instability. Pore pressure prediction can be seen as the overarching element at every stage of well development; as prediction and monitoring of this parameter will tie in with wellbore stability and securing optimal well placement and trajectory. Maintaining accurate pore pressure and fracture gradient prediction is also fundamental in casing and cementing design to avoid well control incidents. The Applied Geomechanics theme considers topics such as improving the understanding of fractured reservoirs, coupling basin modelling and geomechanics with a focus on overburden, the relationship between subsidence’s and geomechanics and the link between natural and hydraulic fractures.

ITF looked for technology proposals in the following areas:

  • Improved pore pressure prediction from surface seismic
  • Improved pre drill pore pressure prediction methods
  • Drilling depleted reservoirs
  • Improved real time pore pressure measurement
  • Better understanding of rock mechanics for wellbore stability

23 proposals were presented to ITF members for consideration. Facilitated meetings between interested parties are currently taking place.

Data and Analytics

Theme landscaping work was undertaken between ITF, DataLab and Scottish Enterprise at the beginning of 2017. Survey output, along with the ITF member voting results, drove the creation of opportunity and challenge area definitions to be tackled by the developer community in a collaborative fashion.

To tie-in and complement the work carried out by the Technology Leadership Board (TLB), ITF has targeted the Data and Analytics for Production Optimisation area. A workshop was held in Q1 2017, brought together by the UK operator and data science communities to draw out current issues and discuss how data science could provide a solution.

Following the workshop, ITF has been working with select data science companies to extract individual company capabilities and proposals to solve the challenges.

The next stage will see ITF facilitating a one-to-one tie in between operators and data scientists.

Subsea Tiebacks

Identified as a theme by our members, challenges associated with long subsea tiebacks were addressed in Q1 2017. Particular areas of interest identified are flow assurance for longer tiebacks, subsea power distribution and generation and control systems. Stranded gas fields and their development provides a link to the Small Pools Development theme. As part of ITF’s initial research, members will be consulted on their technology needs to validate the following technology challenges:

  • Flow Assurance: Hydrates, wax viscosity, Multiphase Flow Over Long Distance (including Moderate Flow)
  • Subsea Power: Remote power, Power distribution, voltage issues, ring networks
  • HP/HT & LP/LT

For further information regarding this theme, please contact a member of the Technology Team in the Aberdeen office.

Open Call 2016 - High TRL Focus

  • Open door policy to encourage developers to submit ideas that they believe address a current need or technology innovation
  • The industry continues to believe that there are significant opportunities for innovation within all segments and disciplines of the sector
  • ITF members indicated they would like to see proposals for near to market solutions

Topside and Pipeline Decommissioning

Landscaping work will be carried out to identify key priority challenges. Initial technology challenge areas in topside and pipeline decommissioning could include:

  • Pipeline Cleaning
  • Pipeline Recovery
  • Seabed Cleaning
  • Burial Monitoring Devices
  • Non-intrusive Assessment Techniques

To get involved with this theme please contact Ben Foreman, Technology Manager e:

ITF / OGIC Joint Call for proposals

ITF and OGIC collaborated earlier this year (2017) to support technology developers to execute innovative projects that will deliver value to the oil and gas industry. 

The Joint Call is intended to identify and support projects which meet OGIC’s criteria and are able to attract the interest of ITF funders.  OGIC has up to £1 million available to fund qualifying projects and can fund up to 70% of the required amount.

A number of proposals are being assessed for funding by OGIC. In the coming months the applicable proposals will be passed to ITF for distribution to our members. 

Planned Themes 2017

Mature Field Waterfront Management

A call for proposals looking at improve the sweep efficiency in mature fields to maximizing recovery and extending field life. Call for proposal due to be opened in Q4 2017.

Materials and Manufacturing

ITF will kick of a theme of work around new material applications and manufacturing processes for the Oil and Gas Industry. A number of potential topics within the Materials and Manufacture theme have initially been discussed, including:

  • Composites for demanding applications
  • Nano-materials and manufacturing
  • Additive Manufacturing: Reducing rig spares and manufacturing costs by use of 3D printing
  • New material qualification
  • New material testing and inspection

The materials and manufacture theme has gathered sufficient support to allow ITF to continue with the theme. Materials and Manufacture is planned to commence in Q4 2017. This work will start with an in-depth landscaping into the area which will assist in identifying the priority challenge areas to be addressed.

Exploiting Low Permeability Reservoirs

Within the Increasing Recovery domain Alternative Fracking Technology is considered a key challenge area for ITF members. Work in this area will commence in Q4 2017. From initial conversations have revolved around the following challenge areas:

  • Unconventional Oil and Gas Exploration
  • Tight Clastic Reservoir Exploitation
  • Tight Carbonate Reservoir Explitation
  • Alternatives of Hydraulic fraccing

ITF will start planning this work in H2 2017 with a call for proposals planned to be issued in Q4.

Open Call 2017

Separate from thematic work carried out by ITF, we open our doors to the developer community at least once a year to gather interesting proposals to distribute to our membership.

This open door policy is to encourage developers to submit ideas that they believe address a current need or technology innovation.

The industry continues to believe that there are significant opportunities for innovation within all segments and disciplines of the sector.

Planned Themes 2018

Machine Learning for Geoscience

First planned call for 2018 is looking at taking advantage of the advances in computing power and AI used in other industries and apply to the subsurface workflows of the oil sector.