Leading figures from across the North Sea industry were at the Oil and Gas Technology Centre (OGTC) in Aberdeen yesterday for a workshop to discuss priorities for the new decommissioning solution centre (DSC).
One of five solution centres now up and running within OGTC, the DSC will identify, co-fund and manage projects to accelerate technologies to drive down the costs of decommissioning.
Workshop participants were drawn from companies including CNR International, BP, Taqa, Marathon Oil, Shell and Respol Sinopec.
DSC manager Andy Clucas said: “Yesterday’s workshop was an important milestone in the development of our decommissioning solution centre, and we were very fortunate to have first-class input and ideas from industry and Oil and Gas Authority colleagues.
“We’ll take this feedback into further discussions with supply chain companies and technology providers before publishing our focus areas and priorities in the summer.
“We’ll then work with our partners and members to develop projects designed to bring new technologies to market, supported by the excellent research capabilities of our local universities through our field life extension and decommissioning centre of excellence.
In January, OGTC announced a multi-million-pound joint-venture with Aberdeen University and Robert Gordon University to develop a centre of excellence for field life extension and decommissioning in Aberdeen.
It will drive the technology innovation needed to maximise economic recovery, make sure facilities are decommissioned efficiently and help the UK become a global leader in this growing global market.
The centre of excellence will bring together academic researchers, industry experts and business partners with the goal of creating a unique environment for collaborative research and development.
Clucas, a former decommissioning manager at BG Group, said: “We’re now in conversation with potential anchor companies to co-invest in this exciting new facility and help shape its early research programme.
“A search has begun to find a suitable location and the recruitment of the team is also underway.”
It is anticipated the centre of excellence will be in place later this year, working with industry, technology providers, governments and trade associations on projects applying the latest academic thinking to operational challenges.
Meanwhile, OGTC is calling for innovative concepts and ideas to transform the way offshore hydrocarbon wells are plugged and abandoned. With about £1million available to fund resulting projects, the deadline for submissions is June 11.