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Oceaneering lands decommissioning ‘world-first’ as six operators team up on dozens of North Sea wells

© Supplied by OceaneeringOceaneering Decommissioning north sea
Oceaneering ROVs graphic

A group of six operators have signed a “word-first” decommissioning deal with Oceaneering to shut down dozens of North Sea wells as part of a campaign.

TotalEnergies, NAM, ONE-Dyas, Neptune Energy, Petrogas E&P and Wintershall Nordzee have signed the deal for rigless plugging and abandonment in the Dutch sector.

A campaign will see Oceaneering decommission 24 exploration wells that never went into production.

It is the first time that wells from a series of operators will be removed together in one campaign.

Through Nexstep, the Dutch National Platform for Re-use & Decommissioning, the operators have been working over the past few years to prepare a first joint campaign.

Research from the likes of Boston Consulting Group shows that larger drives offer efficient execution, encouraging learning and improvements, as well as cost savings.

A combined strategy was developed for the rigless plugging and abandonment of the 24 standalone Mud Line Suspension (MLS) wells, with the possibility that more could be added.

MLS wells are those that were once drilled for exploration purposes but never progressed further than that.

They are simpler to remove than those that have been hooked up to a platform, making them ideally suitable for a first multi-operator campaign.

Oceaneering will start preparations for the well and seabed survey early this year.

The scope of work for vessel-based decommissioning also includes the removal of protective structures, temporary abandonment caps and oil based well fluids.

Oceaneering will execute the joint campaign in 2022 and 2023, with the project forecast to wrap up before 2024.

Javier Falcon, the company’s senior manager UK/Europe, said: “Oceaneering is pleased to have secured the multi-operator, multi-well, and multi-year contract for vessel-based plug and abandonment services in the Dutch Sector of the North Sea.

“Our extensive experience, proven track record, and innovative engineered solutions for well abandonment and subsea removals were instrumental to earning this award. We are committed to delivering a safe, high-quality integrated decommissioning turn-key project.

“This contract represents a key milestone in Oceaneering’s strategy for vessel-based plug and abandonment solutions and underpins our position as a market leader offering ‘best-in-class’ services.”

Jacqueline Vaessen, general manager Nexstep, said, “We are thrilled that the project can start this winter and want to express our gratitude to all those people who have worked in the various committees to make this happen.

“This is the first time that so many operators are working together in one campaign to remove wells. It is expected that efficiency improvements and better utilisation of the learning curve will lead to cost savings.

“Of course, the main requirement is that decommissioning is carried out in a safe manner where environmental interests are safeguarded. Now, that we have achieved this milestone of successfully tendering with multiple operators, we can explore the possibilities for future joint campaigns together with the operators.”

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