NCC attends Industry Technology Facilitator annual showcase in Aberdeen

The Industry Technology Facilitator (ITF) held its annual Showcase in Aberdeen on 1st March with an influential audience of technologists from some of its 40 or so members (which includes multinational operating giants such as BP, Chevron, Shell and Total) and service companies of all sizes from across the UK.

The ITF is an organisation that seeks to facilitate collaborative funding for research and development initiatives that address shared technology challenges. A not-for-profit organisation, the ITF focuses on the commercial needs of its members and has facilitated the launch of more than 200 projects from early stage concepts through to field trials and commercialisation. Operating across continents, the ITF works with its members, the technology development community and government bodies to tackle specific regional issues, as well as defining areas of technology need. The ITF has helped to facilitate the development of, amongst other things, some of the first flexible thermo-plastic pipes deployed in the North Sea by Chevron in October 2016.

Whilst the UK oil and gas industry has lost a staggering 120,000 jobs over the past 3 years as oil prices has halved, there are clear signs of life in Aberdeen. Firstly, the new Oil & Gas Strategy has been developed by industry (including input from the ITF) and has been adopted by the new regulator, the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA). The OGA has also introduced a requirement that each operator has to provide an annual plan demonstrating how they are making efforts to implement this strategy. This encourages a strong focus on reducing operating costs, extending the life of aging assets, accessing ‘small pools’ of oil which have, until recently, been considered too expensive to access, and finding ways to reduce the cost of decommissioning the vast amount of infrastructure in the North Sea. Finally, the new Oil and Gas Technology Centre has been established to help put more public funding into oil and gas innovation, which complements the global activities of the ITF.

Graham Harrison chaired the "Transformational Manufacturing and New Materials to Reduce Costs" session with Dr. David Hillis, Materials and Corrosion Specialist at Total (pictured below). The session was well attended and featured a keynote talk from Dick Elsy, Chief Executive of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult. There were also presentations from Total, Lloyds Register, Magma Global, BP and Composites UK.

In May 2017, the NCC will host an ITF Roadshow aimed at identifying companies and technology providers who have the means to help the industry meet its challenges and build on its amazing record of innovation. Details of this will be published in the near future.

For any questions about how you can engage with the NCC for your oil and gas projects, please contact

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