Engineering and Physical Sciences - Graduate School
School of MACS, Heriot-Watt University
The beginning of an identifiable subsea production industry is traced back to January 1961 when the first subsea well came on stream in the Gulf of Mexico. Objectives remain the same: to produce oil and gas safely and economically from seabed wellheads with the minimum of surface support facilities. The expectations for subsea production techniques have changed as commercial discoveries continue to be made in water depths greater than 400m west of Shetland, 1000m+ in the Gulf of Mexico and in offshore Brazil, well beyond the range of conventional gravity platforms. Investment in subsea equipment by more than 35 operating companies currently represents approximately £3 billion with surface equipment to support the subsea facilities adding perhaps a further £2-3 billion.The courses in Subsea Engineering at Heriot-Watt University were established in 1988 and are regularly updated, in consultation with industry, to produce graduates with the competence levels required to meet the considerable and exciting challenges faced by an industry which must produce solutions for the economical extraction of oil and gas from ever deeper waters in remote locations. The course draws on the expertise and resources of a number of departments - Civil and Offshore Engineering, Computing and Electrical Engineering and Petroleum Engineering - in areas where Heriot-Watt University enjoys an international reputation as a centre of excellence. The course units are taught and assessed over the first two terms, followed overthe remainder of the year by a research thesis/dissertation normally undertaken in collaboration with industry.