Oil and Gas

Our multi disciplinary teams have expertise that can be applied across the energy spectrum; biofouling for example is just as important an issue for tidal flow equipment as it is for oil rigs or support vessels. Below is a selection of the teams that can bring there expertise from other industries to the Oil and Gas sector.

Marine Biofouling

The consideration of marine growth is an essential step when designing marine structures to ensure appropriate design tolerances. Evaluating marine growth against design criteria requires inspection activities that will produce reliable data. If you want to inspect the level of marine growth on offshore equipment, such as flexible risers, or to understand marine growth for comparative assessments in decommissioning projects.

Current guidance can be overly conservative; often over-estimating marine growth leading to additional expenditure through over-engineered solutions.  In contrast, SRSL’s marine ecologists possess a clear understanding of marine biofouling survey methodology necessary for the quantification and prediction of marine growth patterns on offshore structures.  That knowledge assists oil and gas engineers to accurately account for marine growth in the design and management of offshore structures.

SAMS Research Services Ltd (SRSL) has the relevant experience to assist you.

The Management and Optimisation of Complex Systems

Centre for Advanced Engineering at Perth College has expertise in taking to market, or into service, a technology or product requires careful planning and execution.  This is especially true for complex systems involving, for example, multiple or distributed constituent technologies and/or processes.

With significant experience in the aerospace, transport and energy sectors the team is comfortable in managing and optimising multi-disciplinary projects in the oil and gas sector.  By applying the principles of lifecycle management the full progression of a technology or product can be carefully established from positioning through definition, development, planning and trial, to delivery, operation and disposal.

The team is intimately familiar with industry-standard project management and engineering design tools and how they can be tailored to be appropriate for every size of project.

An example of the specific tools used within this broader process is multi-disciplinary optimisation.  The most important phase of any technology project is requirements capture, and the translation of those requirements into a solution.  The early, conceptual design process is determined by the size of the design ‘space’ and this can be large for complex, multi-disciplinary or distributed systems.  Automatic optimisation tools can help narrow that design space down to manageable proportions by evaluating the sensitivity of the system to many variables, thereby identifying those which drive the design, and finding the optimum combination of those variables within the prevailing constraints.

This process can be applied to any complex system in the oil and gas sector, including physical infrastructure or a process, or a combination of both.  It enables the designer to optimise a solution against one or more measurements of performance (including cost and efficiency) and within multiple constraints (including space, legislation, safety, etc.).

Archaeological Services for both Marine and Terrestrial Energy-related Developments

Orkney Research Centre for Archaeology (ORCA), and its partner unit ORCA Marine, are part of the Archaeology Institute and offer a comprehensive commercial archaeological service for both marine and terrestrial energy-related developments.  They are a Registered Archaeological Organisation with the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists and a registered supplier on the Achilles Utilities Vendor Database.

The range of current and recent Archaeological, Cultural Heritage and Historic Environment contracts related to the Oil and Gas Sector include environmental impact assessments, environmental statements, walkover surveys, desk-based surveys, excavations, watching briefs, evaluations and monitoring of geotechnical works. These have been connected to the Laggan-Tormore gas pipelines, the Shetland Gas Plant, the East of Shetland pipeline and associated crossover, and the Sullom Voe Gas Sweetening Plant. Clients include BP Ltd; Xodus Group Ltd; Total E&P UK Ltd; Allseas Group S.A.; Petrofac; IKM Consulting Ltd; Genesis Oil and Gas Consultants Ltd.

Full details and contacts are available on the website of the Archaeology Institute.

Carbon, Water and Climate / Environmental Contamination and Ecological Health / Renewable Energy and the Environment

Scientific research at the Environmental Research Institute (ERI) at North Highland College in Thurso is focussed on these three themes and our researchers come from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds, including environmental chemistry, physical oceanography, and marine and terrestrial ecology.  The ERI is a centre of aspiration that seeks to be internationally recognised for distinctive and innovative environmental science, and works with partners throughout Europe and as far afield as North and South America, Asia and Australia.

We operate state-of-the-art laboratory and field instrumentation, which on the marine side includes an ROV, ADCPs, CTD, digital sonar, Waverider buoys, drifters, X-band radar, Van Veen grab sampler, Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA), current meters, acoustic receivers for salmon tracking, and seabird tags and base stations. In addition, we have considerable experience in wave and hydrodynamic modelling in coastal and inshore waters, using a range of models to investigate wave climate and hydrodynamics around Scotland’s coast.

ERI offers a number of undergraduate and postgraduate courses, including taught Masters degrees in Sustainable Energy Solutions and Developing Low Carbon Communities, and a Masters degree by research in Environmental Science. We also have an active doctoral research training programme in environmental science.  ERI has also delivered online undergraduate teaching material, largely in environmental science but also including applied mathematics and physics content for first year undergraduates.

Wave data acquisition, analysis and hydrodynamic modelling

Our specialist marine researchers come from a variety of disciplines, including computational science, applied mathematics and engineering. Sensors including Bind radar, Waverider buoys, acoustic wave and current sensors and side-scan sonar are available for deployment by the team in a variety of environments. The data can be analysed for quality control and statistical characterisation of sea states and individual waves. In addition, the team have considerable experience in wave and hydrodynamic modelling over various spatial scales using software such as DHI Mike 21. They can also apply modern mathematical techniques to develop analytical solutions to problems in tensor field theory, including fluid mechanics.

Lews Castle College also delivers a wide selection of courses from vocational qualifications through to doctoral degrees, including maritime training, mechanical engineering and energy engineering. It has delivered online teaching material, including the mathematical part of a postgraduate Offshore Surveying module.

For further information or to contact any of our partners please email RO@uhi.ac.uk or telephone 01463 279000.

Department of Offshore Engineering, Inverness

The department is led by Professor Angus Jamieson, a well-known consultant in marine positioning and directional drilling. Angus is leading the development of a new Masters course in surveying for the offshore industries. UHI were the host publishers of the first e-book on the subject of wellbore positioning which has been accessed by over 15,000 engineers worldwide.

The first on-line, industry recognised course in wellbore surveying has students signed up for January of 2016 for a CPD course sponsored partly by the Society of Petroleum Engineers. Angus brings a strong, practical research background to UHI. He was responsible for the development of several new innovations for the drilling and marine industries including marine In-Field Referencing for high accuracy drilling, combined survey techniques for relief well operations, the COMPASS and 5D directional drilling softwares and several new calibration methods for MWD operations, Dynamic Positioning Systems and ROV positioning, The Elastic method of mooring calibration and Long Baseline Acoustic networks.

The new Campus at Beechwood includes workshops and facilities for prototyping where Angus’s team will be working on a new crane load remote control system to allow for hands free orientation of dangerous loads. The department also has a fully equipped Real Time Operating Centre for remote monitoring of drilling operations and a PC based directional drilling simulator for training purposes and two small survey vessels; a 27ft Pilot house survey boat with a 300 mile range and a 20ft fast rescue craft for inshore operations.

Wellbore Positioning eBook

The department of Offshore Engineering is led by Professor Angus Jamieson. Professor Jamieson was the lead author of the first e-book on the subject of wellbore positioning which has been accessed by over 15,000 engineers worldwide, is considered the industry standard publication (accepted by the ISCWSA board) and is published through the UHI Research Office.  The eBook was funded by BP, Schlumberger, Shell, Conoco Phillips and Exxon Mobil. Professor Jamieson a well-known consultant in marine positioning and directional drilling and is leading the development of a new Masters course in surveying for the offshore industries at the university.

The full eBook is available to view and download at the Wellbore Positioning Download page.

ISCWSA: Well Intercept Sub-committee eBook

"On behalf of the ISCWSA I would like to thank the authors of this excellent resource on ranging which has been put together by a strong and dedicated team of experts in the subject. I highly commend this book for its simple explanations of what has been a somewhat arcane specialism and yet of crucial importance to our industry."

Prof Angus Jamieson, University of the Hightlands and Islands
Former chairman of ISCWSA