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Kongsberg Maritime and ABT Oil and Gas (ABTOG) (50% owned by Enegi Oil Plc) have signed a collaboration agreement to work together on a proof of concept to demonstrate the effectiveness of normally unattended operations of facilities for the development of marginal fields.

ABTOG’s marginal field initiative is based on the premise that the utilisation of ABTOG’s appropriate re-deployable technology and normally unattended operations will significantly reduce capital and operational expenditure. This can create a considerable competitive advantage in securing returns and maximising recovery from marginal hydrocarbon fields that were previously considered to have little or no value.

A proof of concept for normally unmanned installations (NUI) will be based on Kongsberg Maritime’s diverse software and hardware product base, and ABTOG’s expertise to demonstrate that normally unattended operation of oil and gas production facilities can be achieved. The scope is wide, with KONGSBERG planning to combine key technologies covering integrated control and safety systems, process control systems, position reference, information management, communication, telemetry, tank gauging, environmental monitoring and training, in addition to expertise on lifecycle simulation and flow assurance.

The proof of concept will be completed in two phases. Phase I work will demonstrate that normally unattended operations can be achieved based on Kongsberg Maritime’s existing technology and previous experience of designing and implementing systems that facilitate remote or unattended operations.

Phase II work will be a more detailed technical demonstration of overall performance of the facility (including environmental performance and availability/production uptime) using a risk-based approach. This provides the performance criteria required by regulators and operators that normally unattended operations are technically and economically feasible and environmentally safe.

"The proof of concept for the remote control, monitoring, automation and operation of offshore oil and gas production installations will deliver considerable economic cost savings making the development of marginal fields a significant and viable proposition," said Dean Jennings, sales manager UK & Ireland offshore production units, Kongsberg Maritime.