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NSRI Launches Key R&D Scheme

04 July 2011

The National Subsea Research Institute (NSRI) has launched a bid to help find "game-changing” oil and gas technologies.

The industry and academia-funded organisation wants to focus on fast-track research into finding scientific solutions to the increasingly complex challenges of extracting oil and gas from elderly UK and other fields.

NSRI’s recently-appointed chief executive, David Pridden, said: "We are embarking on a major fundraising exercise, with government and industry, to be able to attract world-leading scientists and academics to a subsea centre of excellence in the UK.

"Until now, the focus for subsea research and technology development has been on frontier, deepwater areas.

"NSRI aims to be the first dedicated research facility in the world to address the demands of mature sectors such as the North Sea, which calls for maximising recovery while reducing capital and operational expenditure.”

NSRI wants to set up four research chairs in innovative inspection, underwater robotics and autonomous learning, underwater communications and intelligent monitoring systems.

John Mair, chairman of the Subsea Technology Advisory Group of NRSI, and global technology manager at Subsea 7, said: "Our aim is to achieve one or two significant breakthroughs in these areas of research, which will lead to improved system integrity and enhanced production.”

Aberdeen, Dundee, Newcastle and Robert Gordon universities have teamed up with 20 companies to fund NSRI and carry out research. It is hoped other universities will join the project.