Energy Voice

Event aims to focus attention of oil industry

David Telfer, 7th October 2010

Oil and Gas UK and Decom North Sealaunched the first day of their sellout offshore decommissioning conference yesterday at Dunblane.

The two-day event is aiming to increase awareness of the opportunities available and to ensure the supply chain is prepared to meet the challenges presented by decommissioning of the UK’s oil and gas infrastructure.

OGUK operations director Paul Dymond and Brian Nixon, Decom’s chief executive, are jointly chairing the event, which has attracted 180-plus delegates.

Mr Dymond said: “This is the third in a series of decommissioning conferences. Industry interest is increasing and this year our focus is on encouraging further integration and expansion of regional capabilities for decommissioning in the UK continental shelf.”

Glen Cayley, technical vice-president for Europe at Shell Upstream International, gave the opening keynote address. He introduced the main themes: lessons learned so far from North Sea decommissioning, the opportunities presented by and analysis of the UK market and contracting strategies.

Mr Dymond said: “To pursue efficient decommissioning, we believe encouraging the emergence and development of companies with the capability to deliver the full range of technologies and services is in everyone’s interest. This requires the sharing of insights into the market potential, which is why our first session featured a line-up of authoritative speakers from the operator, contractor and supply-chain communities who were ready to share their experience and outline the industry’s forward agenda.”

For an industry with 630 installations, more than 6,200 miles of pipelines and 5,000 wells, the estimated cost of decommissioning on the UKCS is now £27billion, a cost that has doubled in five years.

Mr Dymond added: “Our agenda addresses North Sea cost and safety challenges and we are running interactive workshops to discuss different contracting strategies that could help us meet those challenges.”

Mr Nixon said: “Our aim is to document the actions that result from these workshops and identify how we take on the responsibilities that emerge from the conference.”

On the second day of the conference, delegates will explore the capabilities of the supply chain and forthcoming decommissioning work within a wider context.

Scottish Secretary Michael Moore will close the event by giving the UK Government’s view on addressing the challenges the oil and gas industry faces in the coming decades.

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