Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

AF Gruppen keeping door ‘firmly open’ on future decom co-ops after Fairfield collapse

© Supplied by Aspect ReputationAF Gruppen's yard in Vats, Norway
AF Gruppen's yard in Vats, Norway

Bosses at engineering firm AF Gruppen remain open minded about a future decommissioning partnership after a previous venture failed to gain traction.

Fairfield Decom was launched in 2019 by AF Offshore Decom (AFOD), a subsidiary of the Oslo-listed company, alongside Fairfield Energy and Heerema Marine Contractors.

An integrated decommissioning company, its aim was to take over operatorship of ultra-late life North Sea assets.

Fairfield would then manage them through to retirement, delivering a “fit-for-purpose” model designed to reduce costs.

Rhetoric ≠ Reality

But despite initial optimism, it was announced last year that the company would stop trading with immediate effect after it failed to gain a foothold in the tough decommissioning market.

Graeme Fergusson, the company’s managing director, blamed the decision on a “discernible gap” between the rhetoric and the reality.

He also lamented the collapse of “numerous” deals at the last minute.

fairfield-decom-cease-trading © Supplied by Fairfield Decom
Graeme Fergusson, managing director, Fairfield Decom

Model not dead

But despite the collapse of the Fairfield, there is still support for its ‘right assets right hands’ approach to decommissioning.

And AFOD’s managing director Lars Myhre Hjelmeset says the division is receptive to the idea of setting up a similar partnership.

He said: “There is no lack of ambition or innovation. We came close to shifting the market with previous partnership models, and we learnt a lot from these experiences.

“These are now forming a revised strategy to penetrate the market but we don’t believe this is a journey we will make on our own.

“We firmly believe that for decommissioning delivery, a partnership model will be the key to success. Our door is firmly open to exploring the right relationship with the right party.”

While “no decisions” have yet been taken, that also means “nothing has been ruled out”, he added.

© Supplied by Aspect Reputation
Since 1994, AF Offshore Decom has been working towards developing new solutions for the removal and recycling of offshore installations

Green shoots emerging

The decommissioning sector has not had its troubles to seek in the last couple of years.

As operators scrabbled to prioritise essential work during the Covid-19 pandemic, retirement campaigns were often the first to be kicked down the road.

But with commodity prices in a healthier state, signs are beginning to emerge that decommissioning work is on the cusp of resuming.

AF Gruppen had planned to merge its offshore decommissioning operations with fellow Norwegian firm Aker Solutions.

But the move was scrapped after both parties failed to reach an agreement.

Continuing as AFOD, Mr Hjelmeset says there is “significant backing” to grow the business and a licence has been given to “explore the decommissioning market further”.

He added: “This expansion is set to take place across the traditional decommissioning value chain as well as moving into new areas of growth, with these including wells and subsea decommissioning.

“Although our team is based in Oslo, we certainly expect the expansion to bring a number of local benefits to Aberdeen and the north east which will become apparent as we move forward.”

Recommended for you

More from Energy Voice

Latest Posts