An Aberdeen start-up firm’s technology for slashing oil well decommissioning costs has passed its first North Sea trial with flying colours.
Well plugging and abandonment
Adopting a campaign approach to well decommissioning in the UK North Sea is the way forward, according to the sector’s regulator.
Politicians and industry lobbyists are calling for the UK Government to help save hundreds, if not thousands, of threatened North Sea jobs by urgently tackling a “cashflow conundrum”.
Around 1,400 UKCS wells will have to be abandoned over the next 10 years alone at a cost of £7-8billion of which the UK taxpayer will fund around half, according to Malcolm Banks, wells solution centre manager at the Oil and Gas Technology Centre (OGTC).
With UK decommissioning expenditure estimated at £55.7 billion, it’s no surprise that this offers a significant opportunity for many companies. From a well abandonment perspective alone, activity is set to increase from £1.2bn in 2016 to an expected £1.5–2bn per year through to 2025, according to Oil and Gas UK (OGUK).
An Aberdeen company is involved in the development of a new rig that could lower well plugging and abandonment (P&A) costs by up to 30%.
The most visible stage of oil and gas decommissioning is also one of the cheapest parts of the whole process.