CNOOC Awards OPEX Group With North Sea Digital Services Contract

The Scottish company will roll out its X-PAS predictive analysis service on CNOOC’s Buzzard, Golden Eagle, and Scott platforms on the UK Continental Shelf.


An Aberdeen-based provider of predictive analysis services has secured a contract with CNOOC Petroleum Europe, a subsidiary of CNOOC, for digital services across the company’s assets on the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS).

The 3-year deal, which includes extension options, will see OPEX deploy its X-PAS predictive analysis service on CNOOC’s Buzzard, Golden Eagle, and Scott platforms, supporting operations across all topside oil, gas, water, and power systems. OPEX had previously worked on other CNOOC European installations over the past 7 years.

“This new contract with CNOOC Petroleum Europe is the culmination of several years of close collaboration between our organizations,” said OPEX Chairman and CEO Jamie Bennett. “We are pleased to have extended our scope across the company’s UKCS assets. We have seen a notable shift as the industry is starting to show real commitment to digitalization, which will undoubtedly bring breakthroughs in productivity and safety by using data to create meaningful insights.”

The X-PAS service focuses on three areas tailored to oil and gas operations: smart production, smart maintenance, and smart behaviors. OPEX said the service helps operating companies solve recurring problems, predict threats, and identify performance improvements within critical oil and gas systems. The “smart maintenance” service uses a range of data science techniques to help identify risk profiles and reduce unnecessary maintenance, while the “smart behaviors” diagnostic tool helps companies identify the levels of behavioral risk in personnel.

Located approximately 60 miles northeast of Aberdeen, Buzzard is the largest UK North Sea oil discovery in the past 2 decades. Canadian operator Nexen previously operated that field and the Golden Eagle development, but ownership transferred to CNOOC following its $11.34- billion acquisition of Nexen in 2013. Nexen formally integrated into CNOOC International this past January.

In 2017, CNOOC announced the Buzzard Phase II project, which involves the construction of a subsea development approximately 3 miles northeast of the Buzzard platform. Buzzard Phase II is a 12-slot production and water-injection subsea manifold that will tie back to the existing Buzzard complex. A brownfield module will be installed on the production platform for processing and export via current export pipeline routes. First oil is expected in 2021.