Marcus Risanger at the ONS conference in Norway

"We are in the business of solving technical problems"

Marcus Risanger is a XX-year-old petroleum engineer at Ridge, a well consultancy firm in Norway that helps oil and gas operators keep their drilling equipment and wells running safely and smoothly.

Oil and gas is Norway's lifeblood. If you live in Milan, in Italy, for instance, you might work with cars or fashion. Similarly, growing up in Stavanger, you’re likely to know something about the oil business.

Both my parents worked in the industry, my mum as an offshore nurse and my dad as an engineer. We would talk about the oil price around the dinner table.

Petroleum products are ubiquitous. They go into all aspects of our lives. We drive on tarmac, wear fleece sweaters and use computer screens and cell phones. You can't just snap your fingers and take that away.

Until we can wean the world off hydrocarbons we still need people and new technology to produce them safely and efficiently.

Take fully autonomous rigs, for example, which have robots drilling on the seabed controlled by engineers that are onshore. They are part of an efficiency step the world will need to take sooner or later.

The skills I am learning in this business are not necessarily oil and gas specific. We are working with technologies that are transferrable to other industries, from medicine to tunnel building.

We're doing what every other engineer in the world does: solving technical problems.

Tore Hovland at the ONS conference in Norway

"The industry must innovate or face failure"

Tore Hovland, XX, works in research and development at Vision IO, a Norwegian technology company supplying specialist cameras for companies to inspect oil and gas wells. Oil and gas is one of engineering's most demanding areas.

The company I work for produces cameras for companies to inspect wells. These operate in extreme conditions: high temperatures and high pressures.

The sapphire domes on our digital cameras can withstand 5.7 tonnes of pressure. That's the equivalent of two suburban utility vehicles (SUVs).

The biggest challenge we face is getting companies to adopt this innovation. Some still use a technique involving pushing a big metal block down a well, banging hard and reading the imprint, which provides less visual detail than a camera.

Oil and gas also needs to find new ways of processing massive amounts of data. NovoTech, one of the companies I founded, produces software that can visualise huge 3D models of an oil rig on just a regular tablet, phone or laptop.

In the future, only the companies that are most innovative will succeed. We've seen it in the technology industry with companies like Netflix and Spotify, which transformed the way we consume music.

The oil industry can learn from that and improve by giving people the chance to innovate without fear of failure.

Emil Yde Aasen at the ONS conference in Norway

"CCS is a pillar for the Paris Agreement"

Emil Yde Aasen, is a XX-year-old mechanical engineer at Shell in Stavanger, Norway. He designs facilities that capture and store carbon dioxide deep underground, preventing its release into the atmosphere.

I grew up on a farm in Lillehammer in southern Norway. My father was a farmer and my mother a midwife. I wasn't exposed to the oil and gas industry in the way others were, but soon saw its size when I got an internship in Stavanger, the oil capital.

Today, the world still largely depends on fossil fuels. There's a big gap between what the industry is doing and what the public believes. But I prefer to be on the inside working for change, than on the outside screaming about what's wrong.

I'm still excited by the positive things the industry does. One of my main jobs is to capture carbon from industrial sources like cement production and waste incineration, then safely inject it into the ground.

I design the facilities that will receive the carbon. This means crunching numbers on the types of pumps and pressures needed to do this safely. I am also working to develop the business model for this type of carbon capture and storage.

CCS is one of pillars for the world to succeed in decarbonising and reaching the Paris Agreement goal. Without CCS, the cost of meeting these targets would double.

The oil industry can learn from companies like Spotify and Netflix by giving people the chance to innovate without fear of failure

Tore Hovland
Nora Enge Wanvik at the ONS conference in Norway

"Decommissioning is a job for life."

Nora Enge Wanvik, is a XX-year-old drilling and well engineer at global energy firm Equinor. Her role involves extending the lives of oil fields through new technologies.

My team steps in when something goes wrong with the oil flow, for instance fixing equipment that's failed down a hole.

We collect data to help companies find why wells are not performing. We also help to increase production by opening up new parts of an oil field.

Oil and gas in Norway is a relatively new industry, but there's been a lot of development in the last 30 to 40 years. We now have millions of wells.

If you choose the decommissioning side, you will have a job for as long as you can work. It will bring exciting technical and safety challenges.

I see exciting innovations being developed to ensure these wells are decommissioned responsibly. For instance, testing less permeable materials to replace cement when plugging holes.

I enjoy that my work is not part of drilling new wells but instead maximising what we can extract. The fact is, humans have energy needs and demand is increasing.

So, unless we cut back living standards then stopping oil production is not really an option. We don't have the available resources right now to fill this energy gap.

Therese Nordbø at the ONS conference in Norway

"Oil rigs can act like smart fridges."

Theresa Nordbo, is a XX-year-old, project manager at West Control. The Norwegian technology firm gives oil rigs internet capability to improve their productivity.

From a young age I loved maths, chemistry and physics. These were subjects where you got one answer. I took a masters degree in industrial economics because I wanted to see both sides: economics and project management.

It's led me to a job where I'm using technology to improve things like production and safety in oil and gas.

We are connecting oil rigs to the "internet of things", which adds sensors and the internet to physical objects, to more accurately measure the flow through pipes.

It means oil rigs can act like a smart fridge in your home, ordering bread or milk when you've run out. If your oil rig needs parts or engineers, they get dispatched instantly. The world is getting faster and more demanding, so we need to step up with these innovations.

The oil and gas industry will always be around. But it needs to renew itself. We need to make processes more accurate, with fewer emissions, faster and to be able to exploit the potential of each machine.

The future may be platforms without people. We could enhance technology to the point where you could sit on land while robots take measurements on the seabed. The only limit is our imagination.

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