Decom challenges to be addressed at industry event

About 100 platforms and 4,600 miles of pipeline are expected to be removed from the North Sea over the next 10 years.
The UK has had more than 50% of the world's global market share in decom in recent years.

Challenges around decommissioning for the oil and gas sector will be addressed at a major event later this month.

The ninth Offshore Decommissioning Conference will take place in St Andrews between November 26-28, jointly hosted by Oil and Gas UK and Decom North Sea.

Around 450 people are expected to gather at the conference, which will focus on the current challenges around shutting down oil and gas infrastructure.

Up to £2billion is expected to be spent on decom over the next decade per year in the North Sea according to the Oil and Gas Authority, which wants to cut decom costs by 35%.

To that end, initiatives like reducing well plugging and abandonment costs and new contracting models will be among the topics on the agenda.

The event aims support the North Sea in becoming a centre for decommissioning expertise, which can then be exported globally.

Oil and Gas UK’s upstream policy director Mike Tholen said: “The decommissioning market is likely to remain pretty stable providing the UK supply chain with a steady work flow and an opportunity to develop highly exportable world-class capabilities.

“Decommissioning is becoming an integral part of the oil and gas industry and lessons learned from the growing number of completed projects are being applied to current and future projects to improve efficiency.

“Supporting the UK supply chain in developing competitive decommissioning capabilities is critical to our ability to compete for work both in the UK and maturing basins around the world.”

Around 30 companies will showcase new tech and methods to meet decom cost challenges at the event.

John Warrender, chief executive of Decom North Sea, said it is important these issues are addressed now.

He said: “Decommissioning is no longer a thing of the future. Predictable operator project execution, better market visibility for the supply chain, improved regulatory engagement, together with aggregation and economies of scale, new technology and genuine knowledge-sharing are becoming critical and urgent issues that require collaborative industry attention.

“As the new Chief Executive of Decom North Sea, I am committed to ensuring that this year’s conference is geared towards addressing these issues, providing the industry’s most effective networking platform to help delegates develop solutions together.”