A new decommissioning data visibility project has been launched by the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) to offer the supply chain greater visibility of future decommissioning work.
The pilot initiative will see operators bp, EnQuest and Spirit Energy release a wide range of field-specific decommissioning information, including all-important schedules.
It aims to combat a current lack of certainty and transparency around the timing of projects, which has been a source of frustration for service companies.
The project has been initiated by the Decommissioning and Repurposing Taskforce (DaRT). Co-chaired by the OGA, the group was set up to support industry in reducing the cost of decommissioning and meet the UK’s net zero emissions target.
Data will be available in interactive dashboards via the OGA website and will help suppliers keep abreast of work coming in the medium-term. The hope is that this will offer them greater confidence to invest in technology and training.
The initiative aims to extend to all parts of the decommissioning supply chain, including heavy-lift vessel owners, drilling contractors, subsea specialists, onshore dismantling firms and waste managers.
In addition to the time frame of work scopes, users can see how many wells need to be decommissioned on each field and how much subsea infrastructure, including concrete mattresses and pipelines, must be cleaned and/or removed.
Dashboards will also display the weight of topside modules and jackets earmarked for removal.
DaRT intends to expand the project next year to feature more operators’ decommissioning plans.
It follows the release of OGUK’s Decommissioning Insight report, which forecasts that the sector will spend £16.6 billion on decommissioning activity over the coming decade.
The OGA said that greater collaboration and knowledge-sharing will be vital to meeting the industry target of reducing the overall cost of UK decommissioning by 35% by the end of 2022.
Operators and the supply chain have so far cut the bill by 23% from an original estimate of £59.7billion in 2017.
DaRT co-chairwoman and OGA head of decommissioning, Pauline Innes, said: “Supply chain companies have told us they find it difficult to plan effectively because they don’t always know which decommissioning work scopes are coming up.
“By putting a wealth of data in one place, DaRT’s project is showing the service sector the bigger picture view across the UKCS, helping it come up with solutions for delivering cost-efficient decommissioning.”
Neil McCulloch, DaRT co-chairman and executive VP for technical and operated assets at Spirit Energy, said that cost-effective decommissioning remains a “shared priority” for industry and government.
“The Decommissioning Data Visibility project, and OGUK’s new interactive tool accompanying their Decommissioning Insight report, will give the supply chain greater visibility of future work, which will enable more efficient operations in decommissioning. This, in turn, will support industry in its journey to achieving its net-zero target,” he added.