SEA chairman Marius Martens revealed at the group's awards presentations last Friday that it had been "working hard" with National Energy Resources Australia on a new initiative based on the highly successful cluster approach to collaboration already demonstrated in Bergen.

SEA chairman Marius Martens revealed at the group's awards presentations last Friday that it had been "working hard" with National Energy Resources Australia on a new initiative based on the highly successful cluster approach to collaboration already demonstrated in Bergen.

Such a collaborative approach has also been used successfully with the Formula 1 cluster in England and the carbon fibre cluster in Germany.

Martens, who is also Intecsea's riser systems manager, said NERA and SEA were already setting goals and creating "tangible opportunities" to bring the industry together and "create real improvement".

"It starts with better communication with each other, with state and federal governments, with academia, with other parts of the oil and gas industry and cross-pollination from other industries," Martens said.

"This way we can create the environment where new ideas and opportunities for additional revenue streams can come about.

"So watch this space."

Chevron Australia general manager, asset development Gerry Flaherty told the Society of Petroleum Engineers' Asia Pacific Oil & Gas Conference in Perth last October that WA's LNG industry needs to create an "interconnected basin" to stay competitive beyond 2023, which would require collaboration on a scale unprecedented locally.

Flaherty specifically referred to a subsea cluster approach when talking about pooling resources.

"What really unlocks the Carnarvon Basin in the future - when you see how big and spread out it is - I look at is as a tentative North West Shelf centre, a Gorgon-Jantz-Wheatstone-Pluto centre than [an] Exmouth-Scarborough [centre]," he said.

"You probably need two hubs that have compression, water separation, flow assurance capacity to bring all of those things together into a trunkline system that can get it to shore.

"We've seen those things in the North Sea and the Gulf of Mexico, driven by economics, and we're expecting economics will drive it here too eventually."

TechnipFMC, Aker Solutions and OneSubsea are the central companies among more than 100 that form a complete subsea life of field supply chain based in Bergen to modify, maintain and operate equipment to recover more oil and gas from North Sea reservoirs.

The cluster is centred on Coast Centre Base at Agotnes, west of Bergen, the world's largest base for subsea aftermarket activities, a substantial part of which is associated with Statoil and its subsea tool pools for the Norwegian continental shelf.The cluster is also facilitated at VilVite, Marineholmen in Bergen.

The cluster is now looking at entering new markets by collaboration in enhanced oil and gas recovery; subsea equipment design, engineering and fabrication; and advanced multi-phase and single-phase pumps and compressors; instrumentation and sensor technology.

It also has expertise in umbilicals, flowlines, connectors and valves; and meteorology, oceanography and the marine environment.

The cluster includes education and research bodies including Christian Michelsen Research, Uni Research, Institute of Marine Research, SINTEF and Uni Research Polytec.

These institutions operate a large and varied research and development infrastructure including subsea test sites, advanced multiphase flow rigs, facilities for pressure and temperature testing, environmental laboratories, advanced chemical laboratories for fluid characterisation and dedicated experimental facilities for enhanced oil recovery.