Best practices for the deployment and adoption of new technologies: Investigating the psychological dimension

Together with Aberdeen’s Robert Gordon University (RGU), we have launched a new research programme to identify the behavioural barriers to successful technology adoption and deployment on the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS) and create a toolkit to support both developers and operating companies.

  • Project Aims

    • The aims of this project are:

      1. To identify the key psychological factors that influence the deployment of new technology and tools within the UKCS oil and gas industry. The focus will be on stages 6-9 in the technology readiness levels (TRL) used by OGTC.
      2. To identify best practices for circumventing these barriers. This will draw on the experiences of successful innovators and evidence from other industrial sectors with experience of the adoption and deployment of similar technologies.
      3. To use the data from a) and b) to develop a set of tools to assist in the early recognition of potential barriers to deployment and to prepare effective methods to reduce their negative impact.
  • Background and Rational

    • Technological innovation is a crucial building block of the oil and gas industry. With the current increase in complexity, decommissioning and lower prices, the need for technological innovation in oil and gas E&P is required more than ever. However, the Wood Review (2014) identified the main barriers to deployment of new devices/methods as risk aversion by operators combined with a reluctance to pilot new technologies on offshore field trials.

      Whilst market and organisational factors can impact on adoption, it is the psychological barriers that are the strongest and least understood. Individuals, whether workers, managers, investors or regulators, can have a very powerful influence on an organisation’s receptivity to new technology. Understanding how these psychological factors interact with the unique attributes of this industry (e.g. high risk, competitive cultures, insecure employment patterns, volatile prices) is essential to maximise the opportunities for newly developed products as well as the future success of the industry.