The Scottish Government will provide an extra £5 million to help the oil industry supply chain win a bigger share of decommissioning work.
Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse will launch the third round of the Decommissioning Challenge Fund (DCF) in Aberdeen this morning.
A total of £4.8 million was dished out by the DCF in 2017.
Mr Wheelhouse said: “This round of the DCF includes capital and resource funding, and widens its scope of potential projects with support now also available for business development.
“The Scottish Government is committed to enhancing the capability of the Scottish supply chain, with funding and assistance available for projects that will contribute to making Scotland a world leader in decommissioning.
“We fully recognise that decommissioning is an emerging, but growing, activity in the North Sea.
“More than £17 billion is expected to be spent in the North Sea to 2025, with the peak for decommissioning activity in this area predicted to go beyond this. Scotland’s supply chain is winning the lion’s share of project value in areas like well-plugging and abandonment, but there is room to further increase market share in areas such as the salvage and disposal of top-side infrastructure.
“The budget for the DCF in 2018-19 will reflect the projects coming forward, and our ambition is to match the £5 million successfully awarded last year, however there is flexibility for this to increase if demand is demonstrated.”
Industry body Oil and Gas UK said the fresh round of funding could spell “global opportunities” for Scotland’s supply chain.
Supply chain director Matt Abraham said:“The UK’s offshore oil and gas industry has a world-class supply chain with the capabilities and expertise to lead the way in decommissioning.
“With a commitment to reducing decommissioning costs while serving this legal obligation, this fresh round of funding has the potential to bolster the supply chain’s reputation and open new opportunities in emerging markets.
“The decommissioning market is now a steady feature on the UKCS landscape alongside continued upstream operations. Our message to the supply chain is to realise this opportunity with both hands and help establish the UK plc as a leader in this area.”