OGA Unveils New Digitized System

OGA Unveils New Digitized System
In addition to saving time and money, the new system, which is said to deal with every aspect of pipeline management, will also help to build a fuller map of the pipelines on the seabed.

The UK Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) has unveiled a new digitized Pipeline Works Authorization (PWA) system, which it says will make consents quicker and easier to request and save time and money for industry users. 

According to the OGA, the new online system significantly cuts the time it takes for licensees to complete an application and for the OGA to process the request. The organization noted that, previously, the PWA, which handles more than 500 applications a year, could tie up licensees’ staff for days as it required detailed information “to be laboriously entered on to paper”. 

In addition to saving time and money, the new system, which is said to deal with every aspect of pipeline management, will also help to build a fuller map of the pipelines on the seabed, the OGA highlighted.

There are 7,033 pipelines currently in the UK Continental Shelf with a total length of 96,933 miles, the OGA revealed, adding that their contribution to energy supply is significant. Around 50 percent of the UK’s oil and gas needs is met by production that flows through these pipes to 15 land-based terminals, the OGA outlined. The figure is said to be even greater if pipelines linked to floating production facilities which offload their oil to tankers are included. 

The PWA launch is the latest of several digital offerings from the OGA. In August, the organization launched a revamped National Data Repository (NDR), which was said to provide the industry and academics with easier access to huge amounts of information to help with exploration, production and locating potential carbon storage sites. The NDR opened as an online platform in 2019, originally housing 100 terabytes of well, geophysical and other petroleum license data. As part of the revamp, it was transferred to the OGA’s cloud based Digital Energy Platform and a further 400 TB is currently being uploaded.

In May, the OGA launched the revamped Pathfinder site, which is said to provide a one-stop shop for work and collaborative opportunities on the UKCS. First launched in 2010, Pathfinder moved to the OGA in 2015. It was already extensively used, according to the OGA, but the wider scope of information it now provides, alongside better functionality, has significantly improved the service, the OGA outlined.

In October last year, a new interactive mapping application was launched, which highlights the location of every energy related site in the UKCS. In an organization statement at the time, the OGA revealed that it expected the app to bring real benefits for exploration and the search for carbon storage locations.

“Data and digital is at the forefront of change and the OGA is dedicated to supporting industry and academia in making the right decisions by providing a wealth of easily-accessible information,” Nic Granger, the OGA director of corporate and chief financial officer, said in an organization statement.

“The PWA alongside Pathfinder and the NDR have all been renewed and refreshed this year to provide industry with the data it requires to meet the challenges of the energy transition,” he added in the statement.

To contact the author, email andreas.exarheas@rigzone.com

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