More collaboration and standardisation is needed on decommissioning projects, according to southern North Sea operator Perenco.
The firm has started to decommission some of its southern North Sea assets, while extending the lives of others.
It says East Anglia, where it is based, has the potential to become a hub of expertise in decommissioning as the number of projects increases over coming years.
Keith Tucker, decommissioning manager at the French independent, said: “It is within this region’s capacity to define its share of the market.
“Further collaboration is needed and this will happen. It is very important in these early stages in the Southern North Sea, the opportunity is there to create another hub of expertise to win business in the wider UK, Europe and worldwide long into the future.”
Perenco has 31 platforms, 200 gas wells and 1,700km of pipeline in the SNS, plus majority ownership and operatorship of Wytch Farm in Dorset.
Last year it decommissioned its Welland platform, a normally unmanned structure installed in 1990, recycling the topsides to a project off Africa.
He said the biggest cost, 26% of it, had been use of a modular drilling rig. The next biggest was specialist services associated with the rig, at 20% of the total cost.
Some 16% of the cost was heavy lift services, then 11% was standby and other vessels, 10% was dive support vessel costs and 7% was project management.
Of that work, about 66% was UK sourced, but outside East Anglia, 21%, or £7.5million of it, was from East Anglia and 13% was from outside the UK.
He said if the East Anglian content could be replicated, at 20% of project value, the region could pick up a significant amount of work.
However, it could also do more – 40-50%, of what has been described as a market worth more than £30billion in the UK North Sea and more than £40billion in north west Europe.
He said the region benefited from its location, having harbours, expertise in wells, local knowledge.
But it needed large docks, heavy-lift capable quays, asteel reprocessing capability, heavy lift skills and design and engineering, better collaboration with the Central and Northern North Sea areas, market intelligence and standardisation between operators.