Technology and R&D activities, usually the domain of the United States industry, have gradually been globalizing. The globalization trend is expected to continue m the 90" S. There will be more R&D cooperation among the countries and companies, and among the industry, government and academia in order for individual organizations to stay more cost-effective. The evolving global cooperation in environmental Issues will become characteristic of the 90" s. Engineering design is expected to incorporate more environmental and safety considerations. The effectiveness of technology transfer greatly depends on the experience and management capability of technology and systems integration, in addition to the amount of the R&D investment. The level of the oil price is likely to hold the key in the investment m the new deepwater technology developments. Improvements in current technology for the development of low-cost offshore systems Will continue in the private sectors. More research will be needed on the underwater systems and components than the surface system. Applications of advanced technologies such as automation, robotics and computer technologies will grow m order to economize offshore development and operations. More fundamental aspects of long-term research would depend on the public sector.
Engineers may view offshore technology m several contexts: research and development, design and environmental conservation, and management of technology and risk in resolving a concern for ends as well as means. Research and development for the exploitation of minerals and petroleum from the seafloor has become active in the United States since the late 60" s. Since the 1969 major spill from the well m California, the Issues of environmental conservation with respect to oil spill and other ecological balance have been raised at the level of the government legislation, and have become design and operational parameters.