Zenith exploits N. Sea decommissioning experience to win new contract in Italy

Martin Booth
Martin Booth

Aberdeen-based well engineering and project management Zenith Energy –  which was set up just four years ago – has been awarded a long-term contract by decommissioning contract by FTSE-listed Rockhopper Exploration.

The first project under this contract will see Zenith manage the abandonment of a platform well located offshore Italy, utilising Zenith’s HSEQ management system and well delivery process.

As its first offshore project with a drilling rig, the firm plans to utilise its well and abandonment experience taken from a rigless four well abandonment campaign in the central North Sea.

Martin Booth, Managing Director, Zenith Energy, said: “Having recently completed the project management of an onshore development well in the UK as well operator, this next project marks another first for Zenith – the managing of an offshore drilling rig operation. This award will also augment the well abandonment experience already contained within our team of expert engineers.”  

Rockhopper Operations manager Andy Morrison, said: “We have previously worked with the management team of Zenith Energy and they demonstrated to us that they have the management systems and personnel in place to deliver a high performance team for this important Rockhopper operation.”

Since the formation of the company in 2012, Zenith has been engaged by 24 clients and delivered more than 70 projects across three continents.

A growing number of N. Sea assets have already reached, or are approaching, the end of their economic lives. This has resulted in rapid growth of decommissioning activity in the North Sea, estimated to cost £16.9 billion from 2015 – 2024.

Plug and abandonment represents 46% of decommissioning expenditure, with over 1200 wells forecast to be plugged and abandoned over this time period.

The OGA will highlight the role that decommissioning can play in preventing premature closing of infrastructure and pre-empting stranded assets at an industry event being organised in Aberdeen next month by the Society of Petroleum Engineers.

Conference co-chairman Kelly Richardson of BP, said: “Well abandonment is an increasingly important aspect of the oil and gas industry and its growth is set to continue rapidly over the next decade, including the demand for expertise in the area both domestically and globally.”

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