Many of our North Sea oil fields have been producing for much longer than was originally predicted. This is because we have been able to develop and apply new technology to those fields that has made it possible to recover more precious resources.

New technology to deal with challenging environments

One area where we use technology to extract more oil is in High Pressure High Temperature (HPHT) well developments. The high pressure and temperatures in these developments make it hard to keep the wells open and affect the sensitive instruments we use. This has made it harder to develop these fields. However, over the past decade, Shell has been successful in developing techniques which mean we can now operate HPHT developments such as the Shearwater field.

Using advances in imaging to improve production

Our geologists are continually looking for new and better ways of doing things to make the most of the remaining oil and gas. One of the most important technological developments of recent years has been improvements in seismic imaging. This includes the use of 4D time-lapse seismic surveys. These add a time element to traditional 3D seismic images so that engineers can see what is happening to the flows of oil.

Learn more about seismic imaging on our global website 
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Also in this section

Finding oil and gas

See how we have pioneered new technologies in the North Sea that are now used elsewhere in the world.

Producing oil and gas

Discover how we bring oil and gas to shore and the challenge of the North Sea environment.

Processing oil and gas

Shell plays a vital role in powering the UK and keeping people and business moving. Across all of our business activities, we focus on being a safe and sustainable business. Our people often work in demanding roles and extreme conditions so ensuring they go home safely every day is our number one priority. One of the most demanding environments is the North Sea where we have been exploring for and producing oil and gas for more than 50 years.