EPIC save N. Sea operator £12 million a year by ‘mothballing’ instead of decommissioning

Dave Rowan (right) with Billy Robinson who has joined EPIC International as well as well services manager
Dave Rowan (right) with Billy Robinson who has joined EPIC International as well services

EPIC International provides operations, management and maintenance support and well service personnel, procurement and logistical services and been involved in the commissioning and decommissioning of key platforms.

It has extensive experience supporting Normally Unattended Installations (NUIs) for offshore operator companies.

It is currently engaged on a pioneering model for a major North Sea asset owner, saving it £12 million a year.

EPIC International has developed a Late in Life Operations (LILO) model for the five-well gas platform after an approach from the owner, who had worked with EPIC previously, including during the platform’s commissioning. LILO is a ‘halfway house’ to decommissioning.

The owner wanted EPIC to design a model to leave its options open, either to continue production when the industry picks up, or fully decommission.

When the rig owner approached Dave Rowan, Managing Director of EPIC, it was paying an operator £12.5 million a year to look after the platform. Its contract with EPIC is worth £500,000 a year. An eight-strong EPIC crew is currently working to close the platform by the end of November.

The platform will effectively be ‘mothballed’, light-housed and monitored by satellite from EPIC’s Great Yarmouth office. EPIC International will be the named operator from the end of November and Duty Holder status from the New Year.

Rowan said: “LILO is a big opportunity for us to do something new and develop a model that we can offer to other operators.

“It is about shutting the platform down, making it safe and looking after it.

This is a marketable model for other operators, which removes the enormous overheads for platforms that have diminished production and will either be revived or decommissioned in the future.

“I don’t know of any other companies in the town of our size to have Duty Holder and operator status.”

Rowan added: “Times are challenging for supply chain companies and things are very difficult at the moment.

“Payment terms are longer, budgets are tighter. Working smarter is key.  We have had to make cost cuts of 30% for some clients but with the knowledge of operating more efficiently these can be achieved.

“In the past, prices have escalated without control. These cuts are bringing it back to a realistic level.”

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