A recent hackathon attracted more than 100 professionals from across sectors in an effort to explore how new and ‘new to wells’ technologies can transform the way wells are constructed and drilled on the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS).

Jointly driven by the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA), Technology Leadership Board (TLB) Workgroup and ITF, the event was attended by those in the oil and gas, nuclear, materials, manufacturing industries and academia. It was the first event of its kind to be hosted at the new Oil & Gas Technology Centre (OGTC).

Margaret Copland, senior wells and technology manager at the OGA, said: “The hackathon concept brings innovators, developers and companies together in one room with a shared goal of identifying the next series of technologies we can define, refine and deploy to deliver significant savings in the construction of wells.

“By leveraging the UK’s wider technology network and advancing green shoot ideas, we can unlock additional marginal and mature field reserves and secure life extension for existing infrastructure to play our part in achieving MER UK.”

The TLB has identified well construction as one of its five priorities. It currently accounts for nearly half of field development costs. A 50% reduction in well construction costs could unlock the drilling of 30 to 60 additional wells each year, above current forecasts, unlocking further potential hydrocarbon recovery of 1 billion barrels of oil equivalent.

The event was supported by Centrica’s ‘pioneering practitioners’ who facilitate idea generation and discussion. Topics included; rock cutting and transportation; borehole stability and formation pressure; wellbore isolation; materials for downhole equipment; maximising productivity from a well.

Over 60 ideas were identified during the day which will now be compiled into a report which will be made freely available and shared on the OGA’s website in Q1 2017. These will help shape the technology development programme of the Well Construction Solution Centre, one of three solution centres being established by the OGTC which aims to become the go-to technology centre for the oil and gas industry in the UK and internationally.

Malcolm Banks, Well Construction Solution Centre Manager at the Oil & Gas Technology Centre said: “We were delighted to host the recent Wells Hackathon, bringing together more than 100 people from across the oil and gas industry, and from other sectors, to generate ideas that could fundamentally change the way we drill wells in the future.

“Our well construction solution centre is focused on technologies that will help reduce well costs in the UK North Sea by 50%. Our role is to help turn the energy, enthusiasm and opportunities identified at the event into projects that can be co-funded by the Oil & Gas Technology Centre and the industry.”

The hackathon concentrated on technologies to adapt from other industries and new technologies to develop. Previous work by the TLB workgroup concentrated on the efficient deployment of existing technology.

This integrated approach by the TLB is expected to achieve sustainable reductions in the cost of well construction.


Notes to editors:

  • The well construction hackathon was held on Tuesday 13 December 2016 at the Oil and Gas Technology Centre in Aberdeen
  • The hackathon concept was originally developed by the computer programming industry and has since been adopted by other sectors
  • The OGA’s Technology Strategy and Delivery Programme can be found here
  • The Technology Leadership Board (TLB) works with the industry, government and other stakeholders to define priorities to adopt, adapt and/or develop oil and gas technologies, securing investments, to deliver MER UK and strengthen UK oil and gas industry competitiveness
  • The TLB is co-chaired by Carlo Procaccini, OGA Head of Technology and Paul White, Director Subsea Technology at GE Oil and Gas

For more information please contact:

Leona Minellas

Communications Manager

Oil & Gas Authority

Tel: +44 (0) 300 020 1072

Email: leona.minellas@nstauthority.co.uk