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Law firm joins TechX scheme

Pinsent Masons mentors oil and gas pioneers

Pinsent pair

TechX delivery manager Stuart MacKinven (left) with Pinsent Masons Partner Martin Ewan

Pinsent Masons has joined an accelerator programme designed to help smaller technology firms drive new ideas in the North Sea oil and gas market.

The firm will provide legal mentoring to pioneers taking part in the TechX scheme operated by Aberdeen’s Oil and Gas Technology Centre, set up in October 2016 with £180 million from the Aberdeen City Region Deal.

Pioneers receive up to £100,000 funding, as well as access to experienced business mentors, co-working facilities, and introductions to business and finance partners.

Over the next 10 years, TechX will invest in more than 100 start-ups and 200 SMEs to help unlock the full potential of the UK North Sea and anchor a new technology supply chain in the region.

Throughout the 16-week programme, Pinsent Masons’ energy and commercial teams in Aberdeen will provide the pioneers with advice on company structures, directors’ responsibilities, contract law, intellectual property and legal updates relevant to young start-up enterprises.

The law firm will also host formal teaching sessions and a drop-in clinic at its Queens Road offices. 

Partner and oil & gas technology law specialist, Martin Ewan, said: “It is very exciting to be in on the ground helping this next generation of energy entrepreneurs.

“The North Sea was built on innovation and enterprise and the technologies developed here in the north east over the last 30 years underpin a vast range of exploration and production techniques now deployed across the oil and gas producing world.

“To ensure maximum recovery and efficiencies in the UKCS over the next 50 years, we must encourage this new generation of innovators coming through and help as much as possible to turn their visions in to reality through swift market entry.” 

David Millar, TechX director for the Centre, said: “Navigating the legal landscape can be challenging at times for even the most experienced organisations, so having an established legal partner help guide the pioneers is invaluable.”

The first batch of pioneers for the programme starting in June: 

Blue Gentoo
Aberdeen, UK

Blue Gentoo provides its clients with the ability to actively manage gas hydrate risks. The company is developing a gas hydrate management solution to provide real-time monitoring of gas production flow. This will mitigate and manage the formation of gas hydrates and ensure the efficient dosing of ‘anti-freeze’ chemicals saving the customer millions on OPEX.

London, UK

Envio’s solution allows equipment to be tracked through a digital tracing mechanism. Originally developed for tracking the transportation of high value retail goods, the technology is being deployed to monitor the movement of mission critical equipment offshore.

Envio’s proprietary equipment containers remotely verify contents, location, usage and even prevent tools that are out of certification from being used.

Cambridge, UK

Immaterial manufactures super-adsorbent nanomaterials which can dramatically reduce the cost of separating, storing, and transporting gas. The project looks to compress, rather than the liquify, natural gas which delivers significant financial and CO2 savings on each tonne of gas shipped.

Further opportunities are possible regarding downhole refinement and selective element extraction as well as carbon storage.

Paragon Inspection
Dundee, UK

Paragon is developing integrated digital inspection technology which will transform the inspection of small bore tubing and hugely reduce hydrocarbon leaks.

The technology can be used to assess small bore tubing to provide an effective indicator as to whether the tubing has been correctly assembled and automatically register this and reporting associated risk back to the customer.

RAB Microfluidics
Aberdeen, UK

RAB Microfluidics is a research and development start-up from Aberdeen University developing cutting-edge microfluidic technology to provide real time condition monitoring and predictive failure analysis for rotating equipment.

The company’s project features a miniature ˜lab-on-a-chip’ condition monitoring device that analyses metal fragment content in lubricating oil to diagnose early signs of equipment failure.

Tenzor Geo
Aberdeen, UK

Tenzor Geo provides an integrated service in micro seismic data acquisition and interpretation for high accuracy hydrocarbon mapping, delivering a multi-million dollar reduction in E&A campaign costs.

Based on a maximum likelihood method, the service has had technical and commercial success onshore.

Aberdeen, UK

Sensalytx is a data analytics and visualisation company that has developed an artificial intelligence based modular software platform. The software will analyse and visualise Distributed Optical Sensing data showing fluid movement inside and outside a well. It will facilitate well condition assessment and monitoring over the life of a well, especially when planning plug and abandonment operations.

It will analyse fluid flow across multiple completion tubing, casing, cement and formation interfaces beyond the capabilities of current logging techniques. It will deliver significantly quicker analysis, state of the art visualisation and decision ready analysis reports.

Tubular Sciences
Aberdeen, UK

Tubular Sciences is developing ZIP – the next evolution of metal to metal, permanent pipe connection technology. The early stage concept is for a hydraulically swaged ZIP joint for pipeline construction.

This offers a non-welded, non-glued solution which is applicable to all pipelay applications including challenging and deepwater. ZIP could significantly reduce lay times, personnel requirements and all associated costs.

Test 1 srl
Brescia, Italy

Test 1 srl has developed a unique sponge-like material that only soaks up oil and hugely outperforms existing spill absorbing materials. In only a few minutes, the material absorbs every kind of hydrocarbon up to 35 times its own weight and can be reused more than 100 times. One kilogram of PUFF sponge can absorb three tonnes of oil in any weather and sea condition and in any location. The absorbed oil can be recovered for recovery and processing instead of disposing it, like current methods.

There is also an opportunity to use the product in revolutionary filters for areas such as produced water to further recover oil in the process

Specialist Safety Systems
Aberdeen, UK

Specialist Safety Systems is looking to develop intelligent offshore solutions for safer and more efficient crane operations. The technology will scan a load and compare it to a scan of a lay down area, ensuring a safe and efficient lay down. It will also include crane black camera, communications and proximity warning system for crane driver and personnel to ensure safe operation at all times.

This solution will improve safety onboard and help prevent incidents and fatalities.

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