And solutions to extend the life of ageing North Sea platforms and opportunities for East of England companies in the £47 billion offshore decommissioning programme will be outlined at a key conference in Norwich this week.
Supply chain businesses hoping for a part of the massive 30-year programme to dismantle offshore can also find out about the legislation they need to comply with.
But dismantling oil & gas platforms and plugging and abandoning wells should be the last resort, only after every scenario to extend life had been exhausted, delegates at the East of England Energy Group’s SNS2016 conference will be told on Thursday (March 3).
With the backdrop of the oil price crash, some operators may be forced to defer or reduce the decommissioning of offshore assets in the short term.
New ways of working and innovation from the supply chain is needed to support life extension and cost-effective production
Decommissioning SIG chair Julian Manning said: “In this session we will discuss the strong link between late life production and eventual decommissioning. Ultimately our focus should be on deferring decommissioning as long as possible whilst trying to prepare early for the inevitable.
“As equipment become redundant, the focus needs to shift onto removing redundant plant and items of equipment that are not needed as early as possible. In many cases by simplifying the process and operational support equipment, significant costs can be taken out to potentially extend the viability of production for longer.
“One of the challenges in the current market is that operators are facing the continuous need to readjust their businesses to the collapse in oil price.
“This is causing two opposing issues for decommissioning activity. Firstly, it is accelerating the need to decommission assets that are not accretive to their portfolios, whilst secondly it is driving the need to defer decommissioning activities to preserve cash.
“The concern is that the current conditions will drive a hockey stick effect in activity through short term deferrals and mid to longer term increases in the number projects.”