David Millar, director of the TechX programme at The Oil & Gas Technology Centre, discusses the pioneering know-how revolutionising Scotland’s oil and fuel sector. The previous 12 months noticed us celebrating the profitable end result of The Oil & Gas Technology Centre’s (OGTC) inaugural know-how accelerator programme, TechX Pioneers. 

In March we whittled down greater than 125 worldwide functions to only ten start-ups that met our exacting standards for enrolling on the primary TechX Pioneers programme. The intensive 16-week accelerator, and follow-on 12-month incubator, gives unprecedented entry to a bunch of professional mentors, world companions within the oil and fuel trade, routes to market, and crucially, game-changing funding. 

Up to £100,000 is on the market to every start-up with none fairness take or pay again. What’s extra, the builders retain all mental property.


From synthetic intelligence-based information analytics, to cutting-edge scientific supplies know-how, every of the ten finalists has developed a novel and thrilling know-how providing. While the vast majority of members hailed from the north-east of Scotland, two got here from London and one from Italy. 

Of these ten firms, seven have secured 14 totally different subject trial alternatives with main operators within the North Sea – a 70 per cent success price. This is an astonishing statistic, contemplating many of those firms didn’t exist 18 months in the past. Historically, it has taken as much as 15 years for some new know-how to be accepted by the UK oil and fuel trade. Start-ups confronted an uphill battle, with unprecedented failure charges in extra of 90 per cent. However, the downturn has turned that development on its head. 

The impression $30 per barrel (£23/bbl) oil costs had on the UK trade and the north-east of Scotland remains to be contemporary in our minds. Nonetheless, with 20 billion barrel of oil equal (boe) nonetheless on the market to get better within the UK, now we have an enormous alternative forward of us. A realisation has dawned for trade gamers that they’ve finished as a lot as they’ll to make themselves as lean as attainable. If they need an extra step-change, it has to come back from new methods of working. 

This is the place pioneering, cost-effective know-how is available in. New know-how which saves the trade cash. New know-how which helps unlock and get better reserves from more and more advanced wells. In brief, new know-how which permits the oil and fuel trade to do extra for much less.

With the help of the OGTC and the encompassing supportive ecosystem in northeast Scotland, the trade is embracing quite a few of those early know-how alternatives. Graduates of the OGTC’s first TechX Pioneers programme are already making their mark on the trade, with among the trade’s key gamers eager to trial their technological options to sector challenges. One of those is Tenzor Geo, which has secured offshore trials of its micro seismic know-how with BP within the North Sea, beginning early in 2019. 

Another is Test1, which developed a novel foam which may absorb oil from spills – so the oil will be recovered, and the froth reused – is finishing up subject trials at Aberdeen Harbour. Meanwhile, Blue Gentoo, a agency which has produced a hydrate administration device that would save billions of in lowering the quantity of chemical compounds used to stop hydrates, has a letter of intent for demonstrations. Sensalytx, an organization growing software program to make sense of the huge quantities of information produced by fibre optic downhole sensing methods, has a trial lined up with an unbiased operator within the North Sea. 

Finally, Envio has developed cargo monitoring know-how, and RAB-Microfluidics, which has devised an oil conditioning monitoring lab on a chip know-how, each have subject trials developing.

In October, sizzling on the heels of those finalists graduating, we launched the worldwide seek for our subsequent group of ground-breaking entrepreneurs

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