THE sixth annual North Sea Decommissioning Conference in Aberdeen heard yesterday that the volatility of oil and gas prices would have an impact on the decommissioning market for some time.
Decommissioning, a market estimated as being worth £18billion up to 2045, posed timing difficulties for companies involved, according to Andrew Reid, who gave the opening address at the conference.
Mr Reid, chief executive of oil and gas consultancy Douglas-Westwood, said there was little incentive at present for stakeholders to decommission platforms and other infrastructure – especially when there were still significant reserves which might need existing infrastructure to extract.
He told the conference that decommissioning had begun but only in dribs and drabs and minimal in relation to what needed to be done.
Mr Reid added that in the next decade 65% of UK oil and gas fields were due to be decommissioned, but without knowing timings it was difficult for companies to dedicate assets to the work. There are more than 350 producing field in the UK North Sea and a further 57 are proposed to be producing in the next seven years. The conference continues today.