Offshore needs ‘sense of urgency,’ Chevron VP says

An employee stands on the deck of a pilot boat in view of the Ocean Princess oil platform, operated by Diamond Offshore Drilling Inc., in the Port of Cromarty Firth in Cromarty, U.K., on Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2016. Matthew Lloyd/Bloomberg

Deep-water oil production companies are trying to figure out how to work better together, produce projects more quickly and cut costs.

Operators have collaborated on research and development projects for years, Chevron vice president Roy Krzywosinski told attendees at the Offshore Technology Conference at NRG Park on Tuesday. But companies have often struggled to work together, bogging down on administrative nuts-and-bolts.

Now the collaborators have re-started an old agency to cut through the red tape and focus on projects. The group, called the DEEPSTAR Offshore Operators Committee, will be administered by an external party and focused on “core R&D,” Krzywosinski said.

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“We need a sense of urgency,” he said. Offshore drillers are in a race to make deep-water drilling competitive with the onshore U.S. shale revolution. “Costs must come down,” Krzywosinski said. “Ultimate recovery must come up.”

“In the shale gas, look what they’re doing with their well programs. They’re drilling so many wells,” he said. And if operators can cut 15 minutes out of the drilling time for each well, that “makes a real difference,” Krzywosinski said. “You bring a manufacturing mindset into that space.”

But offshore collaboration won’t work, he continued, “if it takes the lion’s share of time figuring out how to collaborate.”

The new DEEPSTAR committee, he said, will focus on R&D collaboration, cooperation with suppliers and standardization.