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Thursday, March 22nd 2012, 6:33am

ITF drives forward Middle East oil and gas technology development

The next steps for <link removed> which will include the launch of a joint industry project this year, were proposed at an event which brought together 30 of the region’s largest oil players.

ITF, a membership organisation of international oil and gas operator and service companies, united more than 70 senior professionals to establish a vision for collaborative oil and gas technology research and development in the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council).

The not-for-profit technology facilitator brokered discussion between the parties to tackle the most pressing technology barriers to accessing hydrocarbon reserves. The event was sponsored by Kuwait Oil Company and chaired by James McCallum CEO and founder of Senergy, an energy services company which has an operation in Abu Dhabi.

Presentations were given by ITF member companies including Kuwait Oil Company, Petroleum Development Oman, and Shell on the opportunities and some of the common challenges being experienced in the region.

Ryan McPherson, ITF’s regional director in the Middle East and Asia Pacific said: “The event was a huge success in gaining buy-in from oil and gas companies and providing ITF with a clear directive to move forward with a regional group to deliver the vision for collaboration within the GCC.

“There has been a clear cultural change with oil and gas companies willing to work together on the similar issues they face. The group will convene again to build on this momentum and define the key technology challenges. We also aim to launch an initial demonstrator project before the end of the year to tackle a regional technology challenge and prove how the ITF process can work.”

The next step will be to identify technology needs specific to the GCC region. ITF will then use its proven process to seek innovative solutions which may qualify for up to 100% funding. Joint industry projects allow member companies to share the benefits, cost and risk of delivering new technologies to the field.

ITF member companies have already identified water management as an initial theme and aim to fast track projects on this over the next few months.

Mr McPherson continues: “Some of the challenges particular to this region are water management, heavy oil and asset integrity, as the fields and equipment are getting older. Enhanced oil recovery is also still a big issue to maximise recovery rates. We hope that by providing a platform for knowledge sharing, the collaboration between our members can speed up critical research and development in these areas.”

ITF is headquartered in Aberdeen, UK and opened a base in Abu Dhabi last year. It has a growing membership of global oil and gas operator and service companies. To date ITF has launched more than 180 joint industry projects and invested more than £60 million from early stage projects through to field trials and commercialisation. ITF aims to secure a further £50 million for new technologies by 2015.

For more information on ITF, <link removed>

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