Assystem UK driving value for the offshore industry

Aberdeen, 20 May 2015 – Assystem, a leading innovation and engineering consultancy, providing
multi-discipline design services to clients throughout the world successfully presented a paper at the NAFEMS seminar which took place in Aberdeen, demonstrating how Assystem can drive value for the oil & gas industry in the current financial climate.

L-R; David Lister, Senior Stress Engineer and Dr. Adam Towse, Head of Discipline for Stress

L-R; David Lister, Senior Stress Engineer and Dr. Adam Towse, Head of Discipline for Stress

Against a challenging backdrop, the oil & gas industry is currently facing a host of challenges. The integrity management of structures, pipelines and risers in a hostile marine environment, as well as increasing pressure to minimize costs, safety risks, downtime, and emissions all present key challenges for the simulation community.

The accurate representation of the reality of loading and response of offshore installations and their mechanical components requires a multi-disciplinary approach, as well as knowledge of current best practices & standards to deliver the innovative solutions which are required by industry.

The NAFEMS seminar on the ‘Latest Developments of FEA & CFD for Offshore Oil & Gas Facilities’ explored the latest challenges in the oil & gas industry, and provided an opportunity for attendees to gain an insight into the current applications of FEA and CFD from oil and gas industry experts.

Dr. Adam Towse, Assystem’s UK Head of Discipline for Stress and David Lister, Senior Stress Engineer at Assystem in the UK presented a paper on “Leveraging Cross-Industry Simulation Methodology To Drive Value For The Offshore Industry”. Assystem in the UK are leading the way in the use of simulation tools to aid the engineering process across multiple industries, either by building more efficient structures, extending the life of existing assets or speeding up the design process to minimize development costs. Working across; energy, infrastructure, aerospace and automotive industries, Assystem has the ability to look across industries and understand the most effective approaches for typical engineering problems.

The purpose of the presentation was to showcase similarities in assessments across industries, and how best-practice methodologies can be used to drive value for the offshore industry.

Commenting on the event, Adam Towse said: “The seminar was very positive – lots of papers demonstrating that life extension is a key demand, and given our experiences across a range of industries, we are well placed to assist our customers in this regard. There was also positive interest in the fracture assessments, pressure vessel assessments and cutting-edge topology optimization, which were highlighted in our presentation.”

Within the Energy & Infrastructure business area, Assystem specializes in Oil & Gas systems and infrastructures at different stages of the Oil & Gas cycle including through upstream, midstream and downstream. Key capabilities include Project Management, Multi-discipline Engineering Design and System Integration.

Globally, Assystem is an international Engineering and Innovation Consultancy. As a key participant in the industry for more than 45 years, Assystem supports its customers in developing their products and managing their capital expenditure throughout the product life cycle. Assystem employs more than 11,000 people worldwide and reported €871 million in revenue in 2013.

China in talks to build UK nuclear power plants

British officials talking to Chinese about plan that could see up to five reactors being built at cost of £35bn, sources say

A worker at the Oldbury nuclear power station before it was closed
A worker at the Oldbury nuclear power station before it was closed. Chinese nuclear firms reportedly want to build a new plant there. Photograph: Matt Cardy/Getty Images

China is poised to make a dramatic intervention in Britain’s energy future by offering to invest billions of pounds in building a series of new nuclear power stations.

Officials from China’s nuclear industry have been in high-level talks with ministers and officials at the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) this week about a plan that could eventually involve up to five different reactors being built at a total cost of £35bn.

Greenpeace described the move as desperate, while others warned of security fears, but the government has been courting China as the UK atomic programme has been hit by rows over subsidies and worries that EDF – the French company with the most advanced plans to build new reactors in the UK – could be hampered by the change of government in Paris.

China has operated its own atomic plants since 1994. It is awash with cash from its hugely successful industrial expansion and sees the UK as a potential shop window for exporting its atomic technology and expertise worldwide.

Companies from China have already invested in or taken over other infrastructure assets in Britain, such as Thames Water, the port of Felixstowe and the Grangemouth oil refinery. They also own businesses ranging from Weetabix to the Gieves & Hawkes tailoring brand.

The China National Nuclear Power Corporation (CNNPC), which is keen to invest in Britain, has just unveiled plans to raise about £17bn through a domestic share offering.

A team from the Shanghai Nuclear Engineering Research and Design Institute (SNERDI), an arm of the huge China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC), met senior DECC officials over the last few days, three different sources confirmed.

Read more here: The Guardian

Sir Ian’s Wood Foundation donates £3m to university’s Oil and Gas Institute

The Wood Foundation – set up by local oil magnate Sir Ian Wood – has donated £4.5 million to Robert Gordon University to ensure it becomes a global centre of excellence in oil and gas and remote healthcare.

The Oil & Gas Institute, which will receive £3.1 million of the donation, aims to become a world-class centre of excellence in oil and gas, building on the thinking, creativity, experience and facilities which have been built up through more than 40 years’ experience with North Sea oil and gas.

Prof Ferdinand von Prondzynski and Sir Ian Wood
Prof Ferdinand von Prondzynski and Sir Ian Wood

This follows the announcement of the foundation’s £500,000 donation to the university’s Oil and Gas Institute in 2013.The university will match fund the donation with a major investment of its own and seek further support from other donors.

The Institute will develop four distinct knowledge centres in drilling, operations, decommissioning and business excellence. These will be led by industry experts and academics who will work closely with industry on the research and education required to maximise recovery of the world’s hydrocarbon resources and to make decommissioning commercially and environmentally effective.

Sir Ian Wood said: “RGU is renowned for its strengths in oil and gas and remote healthcare, both of which play a vital role in our local economy. The Wood Foundation is pleased to be able to support the University in its quest to build globally recognised centres of excellence through the development of international research, bespoke industry solutions, collaborative research and Masters levels’ programmes.

“By attracting industry experts and internationally renowned academics to lead the teaching, consulting and research programmes, the Oil & Gas Institute will be able to provide a valuable resource for the industry world-wide.

“More importantly, it will help secure Aberdeen’s future as an international oil and gas hub long after our own resources have been depleted.”

Professor Ferdinand von Prondzynski, Principal of RGU, said: “We are extremely grateful for the huge generosity of The Wood Foundation. Sir Ian’s leadership in the oil and gas industry is universally recognised, most recently in the response to the Wood Review on maximising recovery in the UKCS.

“It is hugely significant to RGU to have his support as we develop our ambitious plans for the Institute and create investment and continuing prosperity in the North-East of Scotland.”

The initial donation of £500,000 by the Wood Foundation allowed RGU to establish the Oil & Gas Institute and appoint its first director, Paul de Leeuw, who said: “The knowledge centres, which will be led by industry experts recruited from the sector, will provide the overall direction for RGU’s oil and gas teaching and research programmes.

“With the UK Continental Shelf decommissioning market growing rapidly in the next few years we see this as a key area for RGU to build its capability in terms of both teaching and research.

“Alongside the knowledge centres the Institute will recruit teams of leading academics to pursue market-orientated world class research making it a significant player and employer in the sector.”

The Wood Foundation was set up in 2007 to invest both money and expertise in making a lasting difference to people and communities in Africa and Scotland by helping them to help themselves.

Source: Scottish Energy News

Nuclear Leaders Sign Climate Change Declaration

Leaders from thirty-nine international nuclear societies, including the Nuclear Institute NI, gathered in Nice, France, to sign the Nuclear for Climate Declaration and pledge their commitment to continue the fight against climate change.
The signed declaration, stating that “We the undersigned proudly believe that nuclear energy is a key part of the solution in the fight against climate change”, will be presented to the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris in December 2015.

Signing on behalf of the UK Nuclear Industry, Rear Admiral Tim Chittenden, President of the Nuclear Institute, said the declaration would be an important milestone in facing up to the causes of global climate change.

“Established scientific opinion around the world is virtually unanimous that human activity is leading to global climate change and that the uncontrolled release of greenhouse gasses, principally carbon dioxide, from power generation is a significant contributor,” he began.

“If the threat from global warming is to be mitigated before irreversible, and potentially catastrophic, climate change has taken place,” RAdm Chittenden continued, “the Nuclear Institute, representing professionals in the UK nuclear sector, strongly believes that nuclear power, alongside other low carbon and renewable energy sources, will have an essential role to play in the process. For this reason we are proud to stand alongside many other scientific and professional nuclear organisations to affirm our belief that nuclear energy is a key part of the solution in the fight against climate change.”

The declaration is a major component of the “Nuclear for Climate” global initiative- a grassroots initiative launched in the summer of 2014 by nuclear engineers and scientists to achieve recognition of nuclear as a low-carbon energy that is part of the solution to fight climate change.

The initiative was initially launched through the French Nuclear Society, the European Nuclear Society, and the American Nuclear Society, but on Monday “Nuclear for Climate” invited the presidents and representatives of leading nuclear industry organizations to join the initiative and to lend their voices to the call for change.

The signing took place during the International Congress on Advances in nuclear Power Plants (ICAPP) held in Nice, France, with 39 nuclear societies, representing 50,000 scientists from 36 countries across all five continents endorsing the declaration.

Scientists and representatives from both OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) and IPCC (International Panel on Climate Change) have stressed that each country needs access to the widest possible portfolio of low-carbon technologies available, including nuclear energy, in order to reduce CO2 emissions and meet other energy goals.

Nuclear for Climate have called for the new UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) Protocols to recognize nuclear energy as a low-carbon energy option, and to include it in its climate funding mechanisms, as is the case for all other low-carbon energy sources.

You can read a full copy of the declaration here.

Source: Nuclear Matters

EDF awards contract for UK nuclear stations

Heysham 1 nuclear power station. Image: EDF Energy
Image: EDF Energy, Heysham 1 nuclear power station.

EDF Energy has awarded a contract for its nuclear power stations in the UK.

Engineering firm Jacobs will provide project management resources to EDF’s eight nuclear power stations and two technical centres in the UK.

Company officials did not disclose the contract value but noted it is for five years with optional two-year extensions.

The eight power stations have a combined capacity of almost 8.8 million KW.

Jacobs Group Vice President Bob Duff said: “We are delighted to continue supporting EDF Energy on this major programme of nuclear power investment in the UK.

“We look forward to contributing significant expertise, local knowledge and global resource to help deliver safe, robust solutions across these important assets.”

Source: Energy Live News

What does the election result mean for oil and gas?

Election defeat for Energy Secretary Ed Davey means there is to be yet another whirl of the revolving-door at the ministry looking after oil and gas affairs.

The Kingston and Surbiton MP was one of the casualties of a disastrous night for the Liberal Democrats, and his departure from office leaves a vacancy in a key role affecting the UK Government’s relations with the offshore sector.

Industry chiefs have had to get used to sudden and frequent changes at the energy department over the years, with some of the ministers having the briefest of stays before moving on to other jobs.

In some cases they have been criticised for not visiting Aberdeen enough, let alone show much enthusiasm for setting foot on an oil rig.

Mr Davey, previously postal affairs minister and chief of staff to former party leader Sir Menzies Campbell, was appointed to the high-profile role of energy secretary in February 2012.

His predecessor, Chris Huhne, had quit after being charged with perverting the course of justice. Mr Huhne was later jailed for making his ex-wife take his speeding points.

The last government had four different ministers of state for energy, with Matthew Hancock having held the role since a cabinet reshuffle in July 2014.

Mr Hancock, Conservative MP for West Suffolk, became the 15th energy minister in 17 years despite a previous pledge from the Tory leader to end the ministerial merry-go-round at the department.

The oil and gas industry is now wondering who will be next on the merry-go-round of ministers and secretaries of state after Mr Davey.

Former energy minister Brian Wilson said: “This time, they know that both posts will be held by Tories but the question of how long they will be in their jobs will be as uncertain as ever.

Unless, that is, recent events have finally hammered home the point in Whitehall that energy really matters and it is not good enough to have Ministers coming and going before they have had any chance to learn about the sector far less provide it with any political leadership. Being a former Energy Minister is not a very exclusive club – there have been 14 in the past 17 years.

The challenges facing the North Sea require the ongoing attention of an experienced Minister who can punch his or her weight in Whitehall and, in particular, with the Treasury. There are many other aspects of the energy portfolio which require

Ministers who know what it is all about. It is a complex brief and it is not going to get any easier or less vital to the economy as a whole.

it is time for Government – which really means the Prime Minister – to give it the status it deserves and the continuity of attention which has been sadly lacking for so long.

Source: Press and Journal

UK collaboration to promote nuclear careers

Three nuclear skills-related organizations – the Nuclear Institute (NI), National Skills Academy Nuclear (NSAN) and the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) – have teamed up to promote careers in the UK’s nuclear energy industry.

NI, NSAN and IChemE agreement - April 2015 - 460 (Anna Saverimuttu)
The signing of the agreement by NSAN CEO Jean Llewellyn, IChemE CEO David Brown and NI CEO John Warden (Image: Anna Saverimuttu)

The agreement, signed yesterday, will “facilitate closer alignment” between the three partners in their efforts to encourage people to choose careers in the nuclear industry.

In a joint statement, they said there is a “pressing need to raise awareness of the wide range of career opportunities across the nuclear fuel cycle from apprentices to postgraduate level.”

According to the Nuclear Energy Skills Alliance – a grouping of government and nuclear skills bodies – the UK’s nuclear industry workforce will grow from the current 70,000 to 98,000 by 2021. It forecasts that an extra 7500 people per year are required in the supply chain to meet current plans. Meanwhile, the manufacturing workforce required is expected to almost double, from 4000 in 2014 to 8500.

The collaboration between the NI, NSAN and IChemE has been welcomed by industry. Nuclear Decommissioning Authority CEO John Clarke said, “The highest standards of nuclear professionalism are required to ensure a safe and secure nuclear future – new build, existing operations, research and development, and decommissioning – for the UK.”
NSAN chief executive Jean Llewellyn said, “The UK nuclear industry is going through a period of very significant growth and this will require a step change in the way recruitment and nuclear professionalism, at all levels, is addressed. By working collaboratively with IChemE and the NI we will be able to make a significant impact on this challenge opening up new entry routes into the sector and providing well-recognized and respected routes to professional recognition and development.”
The partners’ first work program will be published later this year.

Source: World Nuclear News