Installations and Topsides

Count of technologies (Operators plans, total 884)

Use of technology to address Installations & Topsides challenges has increased to 11% of all operator reported solutions from 7% in the 2017 survey.  Operator use of technology to tackle environmental issues through reduction of emissions and overboard discharges feature strongly in this category.

installations topsides bar chart 1

Installations & Topsides (95)

installations topsides pie chart 1

The Installations and Topsides category contains seven Sub-Categories:

Technology Sub-Categories
4.1 Control systems and automation
4.2 Fluid injection and reinjection
4.3 Fluid separation, treatment and compression
4.4 FPSOs and FSOs
4.5 Metering and monitoring
4.6 Power and utilities
4.7 Onmanned offshore platforms​


Power and Utilities solutions has grown year on year to account for over a quarter of technology submissions in this category as operator focus moves to more efficient power generation and lower emission technology.  Fluid Separation, Treatment and Compression retains its position as a prominent sub-category accounting for a fifth of submissions which includes the application of digital technologies for Produced Water Optimisation and Gas Compression Analytics.  Solutions for Control Systems & Automation and Metering & Monitoring are other areas of increasing operator focus for Installations and Topsides as operators try to secure operational efficiency, safety, allocation and reporting gains.

Drivers supporting operator technology investment for Installations and Topsides includes:

  • Supporting more efficient development concepts and production operations (Capex and Opex savings)
  • Reduction of emissions from power generation efficiency and reduction of flaring & venting (Net Zero)
  • Take advantage of flexible power generation / storage solutions to provide local power for remote applications or continuity of operations
  • Apply intelligent systems, leveraging digital solutions to help address operating costs through increased automation

Operator spend in this category is dominated by a small number of key infrastructure operators with five operators spending more than £4 million a year with the remainder all spending less than £0.5 million per year.

Further Information



Technology maturity (Operators plans)

Existing technology meets just over 50% of the operators Installation and Topsides technology solutions with technology progressing through various stages of development providing a further 28%. 

The proportion of existing technologies has grown year on year as solutions in development have matured whilst the number of technologies under development have not been fully replaced.

installations topsides pie chart 2


Technology delivery (Operators plans)

Consistent with the other categories analysed, operators are heavily reliant on the supply chain for technology solutions either directly from vendors or provided through Supplier partnerships.

Collaboration is limited to the Supplier Partnerships and emergence of participation in a small number of Net Zero Technology Centre programmes that involve the operators and the supply chain.  However, this is an area with opportunity for increased operator participation.

installations topsides pie chart 3

Technology Sub-Categories

Control systems and automation

Operators focus in Control systems and Automation is improving data exchange and communication between  assets and facilities -  Onshore operations support control rooms, Subsea control system obsolescence solutions to minimise full system replacement and multisystem software - to enable process control of two platforms from a third master control system. 

Automated and unmanned logistics to offshore installations using AUV’s are reducing costs and operational risks.


Number of technologies by operator

installations topsides pie chart 6

Technology maturity

11 - Existing Technology (69%)
2 - Early Commercialisation (13%)
1 - Early Development (6%)
1 - Late Development/Pilot (6%)
1 - Undefined (6%)

Application Exemplars​

Existing Technologies:
  • Subsea Controls obsolescence solutions (Reverse Engineering to minimise full system replacement) (Chrysaor) useful to tie in to older control systems avoiding full systems replacement
  • Operations control centre – onshore support control room (Equinor/Repsol/Chevron) supporting offshore operations with data analysis planning and expert advice, moving some tasks to onshore, reducing costs increasing safety
Emerging Technologies:
  • Automated and unmanned logistics (Equinor) AUV based reducing costs and operational risk
  • ABB Multisystem Software Feature enabling control of two platforms from a third (master platform control system) (Chrysaor)

Fluid Separation, Treatment and Compression

Operator  focus within Fluid Separation, Treatment and Compression shows digital technologies increasing with Produced Water Optimisation and Gas Compression Analytics, improved separation technologies, chemical treatments to allow mixing of light and heavy oils, improved flare gas recovery methods, development of variable speed and compression pumps.


Number of technologies by operator

installations topsides pie chart 4

Technology maturity​

9 - Existing Technology (47%)
5 - Late Development/Pilot (26%)
3 - Undefined (16%)
2 - Early Commercialisation (11%)

Application Exemplars​

Existing Technologies:
  • Produced water optimisation using data analytics, provides accurate monitoring of releases, improved compliance with regulations. (Chrysaor)
  • Liquid Jet Ejector with condensate as the motive fluid to recover flare/vent gas back into the production system (Chrysaor) Reducing GHG Emissions with minimal increase in complexity and costs (cross refer to clean energy)
Emerging Technologies:
  • Gas Compression Analytics – use data science methods to improve gas compression up time, identification of performance improvement opportunities (KNOC)

FPSOs and FSOs

Operator focus on floating installations (FPSO’s & FSO’s) is to simplify design to reduce CAPEX, optimisation to improve efficiency, development of minimal floating facilities and unmanned production.

installations topsides pie chart 7

Technology maturity

6 - Undefined (60%)
3 - Existing Technology (30%)
1 - Early Development (10%)

Application Exemplars​

Existing Technologies:
  • Sevan 400 cylindrical FPSO to remove the need for a turret and reduce CAPEX. (Shell)
  • Technologies to optimise floating production system design’s for optimal hull, topsides, offloading regularity and crew comfort (Equinor)
Emerging Technologies:
  • Minimum cost floating production facilities for marginal fields WoS including Production buoys and small FPSO’s (Chrysaor)
  • Compact unmanned processing concepts, new process technologies for reduce weight, unmanned operations, and improved efficiency (Equinor)

Metering and Monitoring

In Metering and Monitoring – Operators technologies focus on maintaining quality and the composition of fluids, Managing the release of fluids into the environment within regulatory limits, finding more flexible and lower cost ways of metering (Retrofittable MPFM’s), and improving the accuracy of this and related technologies.


Number of technologies by operator

installations topsides pie chart 5

Technology maturity​

9 - Existing Technology (50%)
3 - Early Commercialisation (17%)
3 - Early Development (17%)
2 - Undefined (11%)
1 - Late Development/Pilot (6%)

Application Exemplars​

Existing Technologies:
  • Virtual Metering – use of Delta V for flow computation/totalising (Apache)
  • Exnics Retrofittable multiphase flowmeter – lower cost lower CAPEX bolt on Flowmeter (Shell) installed on topsides pipework for improved access
Emerging Technologies:
  • Using machine learning for virtual metering and operational envelopes (Shell) CNS
  • Kalman filter techniques - to manage uncertainty in allocation well test data - (Apache)

Power and Utilities

Operator focus in Power & Utilities is moving to more efficient power generation with lower emission’s technologies, local power generation by wave energy devices and local subsea power storage for smooth energy supply to step outs, hybrid power systems on topsides, combining solar and power storage .

installations topsides pie chart 8

Technology maturity

15 - Existing Technology (58%)
5 - Undefined (19%)
3 - Early Development (12%)
2 - Early commercialisation (8%)
1 - Late Development/Pilot (4%)

Application Exemplars​

Existing Technologies:
  • Onsite battery system to generate value for the site as well as providing power resilience. Reduces GHG emissions (Shell)
  • Hybrid power system, solar panels providing power and charging batteries, two small lean burn diesel engine driven generators in case renewable energy system fails. (Shell)
Emerging Technologies:
  • Compact post-combustion CO2 capture and storage, CO2 injected into dedicated well or mixed with injection water (C3WI) (Equinor) NNS – local system, reduces need for long pipelines.
  • CCUS applications for reducing GHG emissions and improving reservoir recovery through EOR. (CNR)

Functional Categories


The technologies referred to in this report are for illustrative purposes only and other technologies may be available. The OGA does not directly or indirectly endorse, recommend or guarantee any entity, product or technology referred to in this report.