WIRELINE Issue 36 - Summer 2016
Seizing the opportunity Technology development alone is not the silver bullet for maximising economic recovery, but it is a vital part of the equation. If deployed effectively and innovatively, technology can help deliver greater efficiencies and operational gains. Wireline catches up with Paul White of GE Oil & Gas – co-chair of the MER UK Technology Leadership Board.
P aul White believes that the offshore oil and gas industry is a hugely exciting place to work for anyone with a passion for engineering and technology. It’s what attracted him to the sector nearly three decades ago and what keeps him enthused even in these difficult times. The subsea technology director at GE Oil & Gas grew up with an interest in engineering and explains that what he really likes about this industry and its technology needs “is that they are always changing. As does the commercial landscape. Change drives demand – there are always new technologies being created for developing and evolving applications”. And more change is certainly afoot. “Now that we are into this era of
maximising economic recovery from the UK Continental Shelf (MER UK), technological development is coming to the fore once again with opportunities to use technology to reduce costs, improve efficiency and maximise competitiveness.” To this end, as co-chair of the Technology Leadership Board (TLB), which now feeds into the Oil and Gas Authority’s MER UK Forum, Paul is seeking to apply his almost 30 years’ experience to help advance technological development. Pushing boundaries Born and brought up in the north east of England, Paul moved to Aberdeen in the mid 1980s and studied mechanical and offshore engineering at Robert Gordon University. He embarked on
his subsea career in the mid-1990s with VetcoGray, which was acquired by GE in 2007. His experience spans analysis and design of subsea production systems, management of the company’s research and development lab in Aberdeen, delivery of large subsea equipment projects, before undertaking commercial work in the organisation’s subsea businesses in the UK and Norway. His current day job back in Aberdeen involves steering GE Oil & Gas’ subsea technology strategy, technology development and also product management. “I describe myself as something of a technologist, balancing both technical and commercial experience,” he says. And so he is well suited to lead the
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