Following his meeting with oil and gas operators in Aberdeen, Prime Minister David Cameron also announced that a North Sea decommissioning plan will be published by the Government this summer to help the industry and its supply-chain to prepare for new commercial opportunities in this sector.
A government spokesman said: “As decommissioning is a fact of life in a mature basin, the Oil and Gas Authority will publish a UKCS Decommissioning plan by the early summer, that will enable the £15 billion Aberdeen service sector to become the centre of a new global market for decommissioning and help UK firms to be ready to capitalise on the huge opportunities that are coming in the years ahead.
“This will be supported by the Natural Environment Research Council who are investing up to £1 million in new projects to support the development of expertise in the UK on decommissioning and its environmental management.”
In addition, the UK Government published its new strategy to maximise the economic recovery of offshore oil and gas in the UK (MER UK strategy).
This will help to get more value from the North Sea through better collaboration between companies and improved cost-efficiency. It will deliver the Oil and Gas Authority’s mandate, setting out how it will manage the basin over the long-term, and make the most of the remaining UKCS.
The government will also appoint an Oil and Gas Ambassador to help ensure the best possible access for UK companies to markets overseas, promote the North Sea around the world and boost inward investment.
And Innovate UK is launching an “Energy Game Changer” which will make £1.5 million available for innovators – micro businesses and SMEs from outside the energy sector – to come up with radical solutions and disruptive technologies in response to challenges set by the energy industry. These include challenges set by the oil and gas sector in areas like monitoring corrosion under installation, vessel inspection and use of sensors and data.