NERC Oil & Gas Knowledge Exchange (Directed) Fellowhip

Lead Research Organisation: Heriot-Watt University
Department Name: Sch of Energy, Geosci, Infrast & Society

Abstract

The Fellow will work at the interface of academic research and industry, and be responsible for exploring, mapping and cross-linking relevant environmental data sets from both sectors. A key aspect of the Fellowship will be to chart the possibilities, scope and limitations of a wide portfolio of environmental data resources from industry, academic research and the wider environmental community.
For the last three decades, EU environmental policies have focused on determining adverse and undesirable changes to the natural system as the result of human activities and on initiating management responses to alleviate impacts (Borja et al. 2009). In addition, resource management, environmental assessment and monitoring primarily focus on single industry sectors in many regions (Queffelec et al. 2009; Kenny et al. 2009). However, there has been a shift in the perception of environmental management in the political agenda, with a move towards an integrative and ecosystem-based management system (EBM), a requirement for quantitative cumulative impact assessment and mapping; and integrated monitoring measures. The environmental research undertaken during the Fellowship will focus on pertinent policy, industry and research questions that may include: (a) what monitoring requirements need to be met for decommissioning; (b) how can recovery be assessed; and (c) will ongoing monitoring be required?
A strict legal framework of national, regional and international regulations governs how disused offshore facilities are decommissioned. Presently, and in the coming years and decades, a number of offshore O&G installations will be decommissioned, not only presenting a number of economic issues (Oil & Gas UK forecasts the total cost of decommissioning for existing and sanctioned infrastructure to be £28.7 billion from 2012 onwards); but also a number of significant environmental challenges. The combination of decommissioning issues, new deep-water exploration territories (platformsin deeper water may have probability higher risk of an incident, such as a spill); and the new production techniques, all highlight areas of uncertainty in environmental data management and assessment. Only a coherent environmental data platform will enable assessment and analysis to be conducted efficiently and in the most scientifically rigorous manner.
Thus, one of the key activities of this Fellowship includes the development of a web-based mapping portal that incorporates current NERC, industry and other sources of environmental data. This portal will make a transformative difference in data accessibility. The Fellowship will also contribute towards a culture of change with regard to data collation and management. Through close industry liaison and KE, the Fellow will work towards securing industry buy-in to this concept of contributing data directly into the portal at source (e.g. uploaded directly as part of the reporting process). Therefore we anticipate that this KE project will also influence future environmental policy and legislation and facilitate addressing uncertainties surrounding the assessment of licensed activity impacts from exploration through to decommissioning on the environment.
Traditionally, marine monitoring around the UK has been limited in scope, in part due to lack of guidance on what, when and how things should be monitored. This is in contrast to, for example, the Norwegian O&G industry which has carried out systematic monitoring of the offshore environment since the ninties (CPA, 2011; OSPAR, 2007) Understanding how Norwegian authorities use their environmental data and lessons learned from the process will be important in determining how best to create the KE platform. Discussions are currently underway to establish Norwegian partnerships, building upon the HWU research team's existing collaborations with the Institute for Marine Research who lead the Norwegian shelf habitat mapping MAREANO programme.

Publications

10 25 50

Related Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Award Value
NE/M006859/1 20/10/2014 28/04/2016 £221,586
NE/M006859/2 Transfer NE/M006859/1 29/04/2016 30/06/2021 £117,492
 
Description This award is a knowledge exchange fellowship, therefore impact is measured in terms of collaboration with others and engagement. At present, the engagement and collaboration with industry, government and academia is getting stronger. I have been included in a number of industry events. I have been involved in a number of workshops in the past year, and have created a good network of policy and industry colleagues. One main impact to be measured in the coming months, is the facilitation of a round-table discussion with Shell and a number of researchers. It is hoped that the workshop will lead to a research programme that will feed into the Shell Brent Decommissioning project. The industry is more acutely aware of NERC and the type of NERC research that is being undertaken.
First Year Of Impact 2015
Sector Energy,Environment
Impact Types Policy & public services

 
Description MASTS Oil and Gas Forum 
Organisation Department of Energy and Climate Change
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Having served as convenor for the forum for over 12 months, I stepped back to steering group member in 2017. As a member of the steering group (rather than as convenor) - I have found I have been able to contribute much more to the forum activities. This contribution has primarily been through the provision of industry placements - primarily placing students with the oil and gas regulator BEIS and CEFAS, completely a 3 month project. In addition, I arranged a student visit to the Underwater Centre in Fort William, where the students had an opportunity to get some hands on experience with ROVs and diving equipment.
Collaborator Contribution Partners attend forum meetings and contribute to discussions and help outline forum objectives etc.
Impact A BEIS/CEFAS 3 month studentship was completed in addition to the student visit to the Underwater Centre. This visit was primarily to give students an insight into potential career areas of the oil and gas industry. Feedback was very positive from both the students and the centre. If funding allows, the visit may be repeated.
Start Year 2015
 
Description MASTS Oil and Gas Forum 
Organisation Marine Alliance for Science and Technology for Scotland
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Having served as convenor for the forum for over 12 months, I stepped back to steering group member in 2017. As a member of the steering group (rather than as convenor) - I have found I have been able to contribute much more to the forum activities. This contribution has primarily been through the provision of industry placements - primarily placing students with the oil and gas regulator BEIS and CEFAS, completely a 3 month project. In addition, I arranged a student visit to the Underwater Centre in Fort William, where the students had an opportunity to get some hands on experience with ROVs and diving equipment.
Collaborator Contribution Partners attend forum meetings and contribute to discussions and help outline forum objectives etc.
Impact A BEIS/CEFAS 3 month studentship was completed in addition to the student visit to the Underwater Centre. This visit was primarily to give students an insight into potential career areas of the oil and gas industry. Feedback was very positive from both the students and the centre. If funding allows, the visit may be repeated.
Start Year 2015
 
Description MASTS Oil and Gas Forum 
Organisation Marine Scotland Science (MSS)
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Having served as convenor for the forum for over 12 months, I stepped back to steering group member in 2017. As a member of the steering group (rather than as convenor) - I have found I have been able to contribute much more to the forum activities. This contribution has primarily been through the provision of industry placements - primarily placing students with the oil and gas regulator BEIS and CEFAS, completely a 3 month project. In addition, I arranged a student visit to the Underwater Centre in Fort William, where the students had an opportunity to get some hands on experience with ROVs and diving equipment.
Collaborator Contribution Partners attend forum meetings and contribute to discussions and help outline forum objectives etc.
Impact A BEIS/CEFAS 3 month studentship was completed in addition to the student visit to the Underwater Centre. This visit was primarily to give students an insight into potential career areas of the oil and gas industry. Feedback was very positive from both the students and the centre. If funding allows, the visit may be repeated.
Start Year 2015
 
Description MASTS Oil and Gas Forum 
Organisation Oil & Gas UK
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Having served as convenor for the forum for over 12 months, I stepped back to steering group member in 2017. As a member of the steering group (rather than as convenor) - I have found I have been able to contribute much more to the forum activities. This contribution has primarily been through the provision of industry placements - primarily placing students with the oil and gas regulator BEIS and CEFAS, completely a 3 month project. In addition, I arranged a student visit to the Underwater Centre in Fort William, where the students had an opportunity to get some hands on experience with ROVs and diving equipment.
Collaborator Contribution Partners attend forum meetings and contribute to discussions and help outline forum objectives etc.
Impact A BEIS/CEFAS 3 month studentship was completed in addition to the student visit to the Underwater Centre. This visit was primarily to give students an insight into potential career areas of the oil and gas industry. Feedback was very positive from both the students and the centre. If funding allows, the visit may be repeated.
Start Year 2015
 
Description MASTS Oil and Gas Forum 
Organisation Scottish Association For Marine Science
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Having served as convenor for the forum for over 12 months, I stepped back to steering group member in 2017. As a member of the steering group (rather than as convenor) - I have found I have been able to contribute much more to the forum activities. This contribution has primarily been through the provision of industry placements - primarily placing students with the oil and gas regulator BEIS and CEFAS, completely a 3 month project. In addition, I arranged a student visit to the Underwater Centre in Fort William, where the students had an opportunity to get some hands on experience with ROVs and diving equipment.
Collaborator Contribution Partners attend forum meetings and contribute to discussions and help outline forum objectives etc.
Impact A BEIS/CEFAS 3 month studentship was completed in addition to the student visit to the Underwater Centre. This visit was primarily to give students an insight into potential career areas of the oil and gas industry. Feedback was very positive from both the students and the centre. If funding allows, the visit may be repeated.
Start Year 2015
 
Description MASTS Oil and Gas Forum 
Organisation University of Aberdeen
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Having served as convenor for the forum for over 12 months, I stepped back to steering group member in 2017. As a member of the steering group (rather than as convenor) - I have found I have been able to contribute much more to the forum activities. This contribution has primarily been through the provision of industry placements - primarily placing students with the oil and gas regulator BEIS and CEFAS, completely a 3 month project. In addition, I arranged a student visit to the Underwater Centre in Fort William, where the students had an opportunity to get some hands on experience with ROVs and diving equipment.
Collaborator Contribution Partners attend forum meetings and contribute to discussions and help outline forum objectives etc.
Impact A BEIS/CEFAS 3 month studentship was completed in addition to the student visit to the Underwater Centre. This visit was primarily to give students an insight into potential career areas of the oil and gas industry. Feedback was very positive from both the students and the centre. If funding allows, the visit may be repeated.
Start Year 2015
 
Description Productive Seas Evidence Group 
Organisation Marine Science Co-ordination Committee
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution I joined the pre-existing Productive Seas Evidence Group, who report to the Marine Science Co-ordination Committee, in January 2016. My first meeting with the PSEG will be in March 2016. No contributions to date
Collaborator Contribution The specific role of PSEG is to ensure that appropriate mechanisms are in place to produce periodic assessments to identify the nature and influences that human activities have on the socio-economic uses of the marine environment. The responsibilities of PSEG will enable the UK to determine whether the available scientific and commercial data provide a reasonable scientific basis for concluding that the UK seas are productive.
Impact In 2015, the PSEG commissioned a report titled "A review of access to industry environmental Data";. This report through a stakeholder engagement plan identified the types of data collected by marine industries and the mechanisms by which industry data are made publicly available. I was engaged in this report as a stakeholder for the oil and gas industry, and contributed knowledge of the industry and environmental data. Following the final report publication, a workshop was held in London in February 2016, to further discuss the options to making industry environment more available. I helped with the organisation of the workshop, through dissemination of the event to my industry and academic network and facilitation on the day. The workshop outcomes will hopefully boost the access to industry data for use by researchers, industry and the public.
Start Year 2016
 
Description Society of Underwater Technology - Decommissioning working group 
Organisation BP (British Petroleum)
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Member of steering group, responsible for contributing to meetings and helping organise the MASTS/SUT Decommissioning Workshop held at the MASTS ASM in October 2016. Helped organise and chair session at the October 2017 workshop. Contacting invited speakers, reviewing abstracts, undertaking workshop administration. Currently planning sessions for the 2018 workshop.
Collaborator Contribution To use the combined expertise from marine salvage, oil & gas decommissioning and marine science to influence, educate and unlock solutions to wreck removal and offshore energy challenges and opportunities. Three broad themes have been identified and will be met through delivery of the following activities: 1. Put forward a proposed programme for the annual MASTS/SUT Workshop on Decommissioning and Wreck Removal. 2. Identify other initiatives appropriate for the Work Group/SDC to support. 3. Share information on related / complimentary initiatives across industry.
Impact MASTS/SUT Decommissioning Workshop - October 2016; MASTS/SUT Decommissioning Workshop - October 2017.
Start Year 2016
 
Description Society of Underwater Technology - Decommissioning working group 
Organisation Decom North Sea
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Member of steering group, responsible for contributing to meetings and helping organise the MASTS/SUT Decommissioning Workshop held at the MASTS ASM in October 2016. Helped organise and chair session at the October 2017 workshop. Contacting invited speakers, reviewing abstracts, undertaking workshop administration. Currently planning sessions for the 2018 workshop.
Collaborator Contribution To use the combined expertise from marine salvage, oil & gas decommissioning and marine science to influence, educate and unlock solutions to wreck removal and offshore energy challenges and opportunities. Three broad themes have been identified and will be met through delivery of the following activities: 1. Put forward a proposed programme for the annual MASTS/SUT Workshop on Decommissioning and Wreck Removal. 2. Identify other initiatives appropriate for the Work Group/SDC to support. 3. Share information on related / complimentary initiatives across industry.
Impact MASTS/SUT Decommissioning Workshop - October 2016; MASTS/SUT Decommissioning Workshop - October 2017.
Start Year 2016
 
Description Society of Underwater Technology - Decommissioning working group 
Organisation Marine Alliance for Science and Technology for Scotland
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Member of steering group, responsible for contributing to meetings and helping organise the MASTS/SUT Decommissioning Workshop held at the MASTS ASM in October 2016. Helped organise and chair session at the October 2017 workshop. Contacting invited speakers, reviewing abstracts, undertaking workshop administration. Currently planning sessions for the 2018 workshop.
Collaborator Contribution To use the combined expertise from marine salvage, oil & gas decommissioning and marine science to influence, educate and unlock solutions to wreck removal and offshore energy challenges and opportunities. Three broad themes have been identified and will be met through delivery of the following activities: 1. Put forward a proposed programme for the annual MASTS/SUT Workshop on Decommissioning and Wreck Removal. 2. Identify other initiatives appropriate for the Work Group/SDC to support. 3. Share information on related / complimentary initiatives across industry.
Impact MASTS/SUT Decommissioning Workshop - October 2016; MASTS/SUT Decommissioning Workshop - October 2017.
Start Year 2016
 
Description Society of Underwater Technology - Decommissioning working group 
Organisation Society for Underwater Technology
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Learned Society 
PI Contribution Member of steering group, responsible for contributing to meetings and helping organise the MASTS/SUT Decommissioning Workshop held at the MASTS ASM in October 2016. Helped organise and chair session at the October 2017 workshop. Contacting invited speakers, reviewing abstracts, undertaking workshop administration. Currently planning sessions for the 2018 workshop.
Collaborator Contribution To use the combined expertise from marine salvage, oil & gas decommissioning and marine science to influence, educate and unlock solutions to wreck removal and offshore energy challenges and opportunities. Three broad themes have been identified and will be met through delivery of the following activities: 1. Put forward a proposed programme for the annual MASTS/SUT Workshop on Decommissioning and Wreck Removal. 2. Identify other initiatives appropriate for the Work Group/SDC to support. 3. Share information on related / complimentary initiatives across industry.
Impact MASTS/SUT Decommissioning Workshop - October 2016; MASTS/SUT Decommissioning Workshop - October 2017.
Start Year 2016
 
Description Decommissioning stakeholder meetings 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Attending stakeholder workshops contribute to the discussion of environmental impacts of potential decommissioning programmes.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Flourishing communities and productive seas workshop series 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact 3 workshops were held in November and December 2015 and January 2016. The workshops aims were to:
1. Explore the concepts of blue growth, what adopting an ecosystems approach and securing Environmental Status mean for MSP and the marine environment in Scotland;
2. Discuss and reflect on three approaches - Wellbeing; Stated Preference; Sectoral Interactions Matrix - for providing information and generating public conversations around the blue growth agenda and mediating values and relationships across the land-sea divide; and
3. Produce 7 Lay Person's guides on the concepts/approaches of MSP
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015,2016
URL http://www.scottishinsight.ac.uk/Programmes/Programmes20152016/FlourishingCommunitiesandProductiveSe...
 
Description NERC Oil and Gas CDT 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact I am responsible for organizing the Environmental Impact and Regulation 2 week training session for the NERC Oil and Gas CDT PhD students. My main roles include putting together the lecture and workshop programme for the 30 students. This involves involving my network of industry and government professionals to provide the students with an overall picture of the oil and gas industry from licensing and permitting, seabed surveying and monitoring to decommissioning. The students gave good feedback regarding the lectures, and all reported that they learned significantly from the course. Areas for improvement for next year include trying to reduce areas of repetition between speakers. The industry and those involved also gave good feedback, as they enjoyed engaging with the students and all found that their lectures led to interesting discussions. All speakers are keen to be involved in next years programme.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description PhD student visit to Underwater Centre, Fort William 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact As part of the NERC Oil and Gas CDT, it was arranged for the PhD students to attend a 2 day introductory training workshop at the Underwater Centre in Fort William to learn about ROV and diving operations in an industrial setting. The students at the opertunity to engage directly with the staff members at the Centre and had an opportunity to take part in practical sessions. The students reported back to the CDT that they enjoyed the visit and found it a useful experience. The visit will be repeated with CDT students in April 2016, and an additional opportunity will be extended to students of MASTS institutions in 2016. We are now exploring the potential of submitting a joint application with the Centre to NERC for an advanced training course on ROV operations.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description SEA workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact The Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) workshops are aimed at involving stakeholders in discussion prior to the release of the next SEA in June/July this year, and prior to the next release of Oil and Gas licensing round. Following the workshop, additional data has been identified and agreed to be released for inclusion with the offshore survey data for the overall outcomes of this fellowship.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016