The CRINE initiative could not succeed without two fundamental changes being accepted by everyone involved in the operation of the United Kingdom Continental Shelf North Sea enterprise. Perhaps the most difficult change to comprehend, let alone accept, is that of attitude. Changing the culture of a traditional industry is one of the most excitingchallenges emerging from the CRINE initiative.


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 orprotection of the environment, whilst ensuringeconomic 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: the first explains the background and how the initiative was developed. This, 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.


The sweeping changes in the North Sea oil and gas operations brought about by CRINE centre around two innovations: new ways of working and attitude. My paper covers the intangible one: attitude.

My colleague Mike Curtis, Technology Director of BP and chairman of CRINE, outlines in his paper a history of the CRINE initiative in which he stresses the importance of cultural change - persuading people to adopt new attitudes.

For CRINE to succeed - which would ensure the North Sea enterprise could survive and thrive - nothing short of a revolution in people's attitudeswill be enough. Although this is widely acknowledged within the industry it is certainly less well understood how difficult it will be to achieve.

It will have to extend throughout everything the industry does: the way it plans, designs and builds its hardware and also how people within the industry interact with each other. A mammoth project, even by our industry's standards. Findingthe solution to that has to start with trying to understand how the culture developed in an industry engaged in winning the North Sea reserves. In drawing together the case for the CRINE initiative its authors took a long, hard look at the way the industry conducted itself. What theyfound was pretty unpalatable.

Their conclusions about the North Sea culture, as it was two years ago, painted a picture of an industry hamstrung by entrenched attitudes, poor communication, lack of trust and adversarial and a set of practices that had been developed and become ‘normal’ over a period of years. The costs associated in managing this mistrust are huge

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