A MAJOR North Sea operator has said it will continue to play a key role in advancing the development of oil and gas technology and has extended its membership of a key industry group.

Premier Oil – which has significant developments in the North Sea and elsewhere – will remain a member of the Industry Technology Facilitator (ITF), which it joined in 2011, for a further three years.

The ITF has a growing and diverse group of industry figures who work together to solve complex technical challenges in the oil and gas sector.

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Premier said it will work closely with BP, ExxonMobil, Lloyd’s Register Energy, Shell and Total, amongst other operators and service companies, in that mission.

The company is a global, independent upstream exploration and production operator with oil and gas interests in the North Sea, South East Asia, the Falkland Islands and Latin America.

In the North Sea, it operates the Tolmount and Babbage gas fields in the Southern North Sea, and Huntington and Catcher, 110 miles east of Aberdeen – which is expected to produce first oil later this year.

It recently announced a rise in the estimate of how much crude that project is likely to produce at peak by 20 per cent to 60,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day after recent successful test results.

Premier achieved record production last year, maintained a low operating cost base and completed the acquisition of the E.ON portfolio.

The first oil also came from its Solan field, west of Shetland, and discussions are under way for further drilling campaigns in 2019 to improve production levels.

In July, the company, together with its joint venture partners Talos Energy and Sierra Oil and Gas, announced it had made a world-class oil discovery, offshore Mexico.

Zama-1 is the first offshore exploration well to be drilled by the private sector in Mexico’s history, and Premier holds a 25 per cent interest in the block in which it is located.

Premier Oil’s technical project authority, Tammie Sebire, recently joined the ITF at its Innovation Network “Tech Talk” to give an overview of industry needs from an operator’s viewpoint.

The regular events, focused on a diverse range of industry challenges, provides a platform for developers to showcase innovative and leading technologies to ITF members and the wider industry.

Dr Patrick O’Brien, ITF’s CEO said: “Premier Oil is a pioneering company. Like all our members, it is committed to sourcing and adopting new technologies that can reap rewards by safely cutting costs and improving efficiency.

“The company recognises that in today’s cost-constrained environment, collaboration is key to fast-track solutions and challenge the industry’s risk-averse culture.”

Since it was established in 1999, the ITF has worked to support and fund game-changing technologies across the global energy industry, through a strategic process in close collaboration with its members.