Decom North Sea (DNS), the offshore oil and gas decommissioning forum, will be promoting the concept of decommissioning as an integral part of the overall life cycle of an asset at an event during OTC.
Win Thornton, vice-president of decommissioning global projects for BP, will tomorrow share his views and experiences from more than 35 years in the offshore decom industry and will discuss the importance of transferring skills and knowledge from the operational phase of a project to the decommissioning phase.
Tony Price, vice-president of international strategic projects for URS Corporation, will speak about the nuclear decommissioning industry and explore cross-over of learning from nuclear decommissioning to offshore decom and vice-versa.
DNS chief executive Brian Nixon is attending OTC to research lessons learned from the extensive decommissioning activity in other regions, such as the Gulf of Mexico, and other industries, such as nuclear, so the group can ensure the North Sea industry and supply chain can benefit from the sizeable opportunities on offer in the field.
He said: “This is the second year DNS has hosted a networking breakfast during OTC. It proved to be a highly beneficial learning experience last year. At this year’s event, with Win and Tony, we have two highly-respected industry champions and we can be assured of a stimulating and interactive event.
“It is widely recognised that decommissioning challenges faced by the oil and gas sector cross over with those faced by other industries far more advanced in decommissioning, such as nuclear.
“By establishing the lessons learned in the nuclear decommissioning industry, it can help the UK supply chain to be better equipped for this stage in an asset’s life cycle.
“To prevent a bottleneck in skills as decommissioning projects gather pace over the coming years, we are encouraging firms to acknowledge transferable skills from the outset.
“This includes recognising the knowledge and skills that should be passed between the operational phase and through to the decommissioning stage.
“The industry is seeking more co-operation and innovation and this is the right time to be discussing whether companies would be better prepared for decommissioning challenges if they incorporated it into an asset’s life cycle as opposed to it being considered as a separate phase at the end of a project.”
Annual decommissioning expenditure in the North Sea is forecast to top £1billion in a few years and a total of around £35billion is due to be spent over the next 20 to 30 years.