New technology is being developed as part of a multi-million pound international collaboration to enable safer and more efficient oil recovery from deeper water and harsher environments than ever before.
FMC Technologies is a leading global provider of technology solutions for the energy industry with approximately 12,500 employees and 27 production facilities in 16 countries.
FMC Technologies designs, manufactures and services technologically sophisticated systems and products such as sub-sea production and processing systems, surface wellhead systems, high pressure fluid control equipment, measurement solutions and marine loading systems for the oil and gas industry.
The Business Challenge
Limitations in current technologies often mean that conventional oil recovery processes leave around two-thirds of the oil in the reservoir. Recent developments, including increased oil recovery (IOR) solutions, are making the safe extraction of this additional oil both economically and technically feasible.
Following an introduction by Interface- The knowledge connection for business, FMC Technologies began working with Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) to deliver a five year research and development collaboration to benefit the subsea oil and gas industry.
The collaboration combines expertise in electronics, optoelectronics, electrical power and instrumentation at GCU with that of sub-sea engineering and optoelectronics within FMC.
This will allow the delivery of a portfolio of research and development projects that aim to identify new opportunities for safe and efficient oil recovery, and enhance reliability and integrity in the monitoring of sub-sea installations. It will also produce innovative new products and technologies for sub-sea hydrocarbon production applications.
All aspects of the production process will be covered, including sub-sea equipment, sub-sea processing, equipment monitoring and oil recovery technologies and will identify and develop new technology solutions. The venture will also involve staff exchange, student placements and research studentships.
To support its drive to innovate in this field, FMC Technologies has established a dedicated optoelectronics research and development group, based in Glasgow, to focus on developing a wide range of integrated sensing solutions. The partnership with GCU will include a strategic research collaboration focused on future sub-sea optoelectronic systems.
As part of their collaboration, GCU and FMC had two Knowledge Transfer Projects (KTPs) approved. The projects will involve KTP associates working on the development of electronics and sensors, as well as software, to develop new intelligent sensors for the oil and gas industry.
Dermot Rogers, Product Engineering Manager at FMC Technologies with responsibilities for Optoelectronics, said: “In addition to the complementary expertise and specialist facilities offered by the University, their flexible and positive approach to working with industry was exactly what we wanted in an academic partner. It’s an exciting move for us, and one which we hope will have global benefits.”