News Details
17 May 2017

Bringing the North Sea Story to Life

Image of the Brent field at sunset courtesy of Shell UK
Brent at sunset - courtesy of Shell UK

So you've embarked on the decommissioning of some of your assets - you've submitted your programme to the regulator, got your approvals, signed your contracts and work is well underway.

But what are you going to do with all those drawings, reports, log books, meeting minutes and other documents that are filling up your network drives and office space, and possibly costing you money in needless offsite storage costs?

That’s where ‘Capturing the Energy’ comes in. The project, based at the University of Aberdeen and funded by Oil & Gas UK with support from Decom North Sea, seeks to collect and preserve a record of the UK offshore oil and gas industry – documenting its achievements, recognising its economic and social impact, and using written and spoken evidence to inform and inspire the next generation of engineers, managers and researchers as well as the general public.

The project’s Development Officer, Joe Chapman, explains: “Decommissioning is a hugely significant phase for operators and the supply chain when it comes to managing information, as it is the point at which various types of records cease to be in current business use, and it is this stage that is the focus for Capturing the Energy.

“We want to engage with companies of all shapes and sizes to review records which might otherwise be destroyed, so that we can review them and preserve each field’s contribution to the legacy of economic success and technological innovation that makes the North Sea story one of the greatest in Britain’s industrial history.”

Capturing the Energy can carry out a records survey – free of charge –  to highlight those that could be transferred to the University of Aberdeen’s specialist oil and gas archive, as well as assisting with the efficient management of your information including advising on retention periods, and providing details of reference materials and contacts for training and support.

Decommissioning is a hugely significant phase when it comes to managing information, as it is the point at which various records cease to be in current business use, and it is this stage that is the focus for Capturing the Energy."

If you feel your organisation could benefit from any of these services now or in the future, please don’t hesitate to contact Joe by emailing joe.chapman@abdn.ac.uk or calling 01224 272545.

In addition, involvement with Capturing the Energy offers PR opportunities through various events and exhibitions, including a major display of artefacts at the Sir Duncan Rice Library early next year.

Joe says: “We’re also currently developing an interactive mobile app which will feature stories from the archives – with photo, audio and video content brought to life using image recognition and augmented reality. It’s an innovative way of encapsulating what our project is about, and we’re delighted to be working with a local software development company to make it a reality.”

This brand new app is expected to be launched in time for Offshore Europe, but it’s not too late to share your stories and show your support for this exciting and important initiative – so contact Joe today to find out how you can secure your company’s place in this lasting account of the history of our great industry.

Explore our website for more information about the Capturing the Energy project.


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