Faced with rising costs and rapidly declining competitiveness, the UK North Sea oil and gas operations banded together to re-think their future and make a blueprint, not just for survival but for success. The CRINE initiative is revolutionary in concept but relies heavily on common sense.


CRINE, an acronym for Cost Reduction Initiative for the New Era, is an industry-wide programme now under way in the UK Continental Shelf oil and gas fields whose main objective is to achieve thirty per cent or more savings in capital costs and to halve operating costs over the next two or three years.

This will be achieved without prejudicing safety or protection of the environment, whilst ensuring economic extraction of remaining recoverable reserves. Also, through a change in attitudes and working practices, CRINE has strengthened the UK offshore industry's competitiveness world-wide and within the UK industry will sustain employment at a higher level than previously forecast.

There are four papers: this, the first, explains the background and how the initiative was developed. The second is about the cultural change needed to gain acceptance for the new ideas. The third covers the ‘tools’ needed to make change possible: specifications, practices, quality/performance, while the fourth deals with the education and training programme that will ensure the lessons learned stay learned.


Quietly, and for the past two years, a cultural revolution has been gathering pace out on the North Sea platforms and onshore in Britain. Its effect will transform the industry.

It is a revolution that directly affects not only the future livelihood of around 300,000 of the most skilled personnel in the oil, gas and supporting industries in the UK but its outcome will affect the future prosperity of Britain itself.

CRINE is an initiative designed to persuade a whole industry to abandon its long-established ways of doing business and replace them with new and virtually untested alternatives. But this approach is very much in line with the very welcome initiative on the part of the UK Government to find ways of mproving the competitiveness of British industry in general.

If, for some, a ‘cultural revolution’ seems too strong a phrase to describe CRINE then ‘evolutionary change’ is equally descriptive of what is now under way. Not only has the Government given its blessing and very active support to CRINE but the changes envisaged and those already taking place have the full support and commitment of virtually everyone concerned.

After all, what is now happening in our industry affects the future of everyone in that industry; therefore, participation is the best way of ensuring that the end-result is the most effective and acceptable.

Those very sweeping statements summarise what is happening in the oil and gas industry in the UK Continental Shelf today. Before developing this theme, this paper gives the background as to why CRINE emerged in the first place.

CRINE springs from some fundamental re-thinking by all the member companies of UKOOA (United Kingdom Offshore Operators' Association).

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