GMB calls on Shell and Brit-Govt to use Scottish and Tyneside ports for N. Sea decommissioning

Shell wants to cut the tops off its redundant Brent field oil platforms while leaving the sea-legs sticking up from the sea-bed.
Shell wants to cut the tops off its redundant Brent field oil platforms while leaving the sea-legs sticking up from the sea-bed.

The GMB has welcomed new measures introduced by the OGA designed to get the best value for money out of future projects.

But the trade union for workers in the North Sea oil and gas industry also warned that the Government must ‘get this right as thousands of UK jobs could depend on this work.’

GMB again calls on the Brit-Govt. to ensure yards in Scotland and north east England do not miss out on the opportunity decommissioning presents.

The call comes as oil giant Shell seeks Brit-Govt permission to partly-dismantle its platforms in the now almost dried-up Brent oil field.

Shell wants a ‘half-way house’ for its Brent field oil platforms (only one of which is still producing) where it will leave the lower halves of the subsea jackets and towers on the North Sea-bed as part of a permitted ‘exemption’ from the OSPAR convention for full decommissioning and dismantling onshore.

The Brit-Govt is yet to decide if it will accept Shell’s half-way-house plan for decommissioning the Brent platforms.

Ross Murdoch, GMB National Officer, said: “There are compelling socio-economic arguments for this work to be awarded to UK yards, rather than going abroad.

“The Treasury will benefit through taxation and NI payments made if the work is undertaken in UK yards, coupled with the multiplier effect of UK workers spending in their local communities.

“With Brexit looming, this work could bring much needed prosperity to areas that could suffer further deprivation if the work was to be undertaken outside the UK.

“Given every UK household will contribute to decommissioning work for decades through UK taxpayer subsidies, it is not unreasonable for those same taxpayers to expect prosperity for UK communities in return”.

Meanwhile, Common Data Access – the industry-owned North Sea oil and gas subsidiary that provides shared services for the management of well and seismic data – has collaborated with Shell’s Brent decommissioning team and Aberdeen University’s law school to create the first publicly available ‘records retention schedule’ for use in oil and gas decommissioning,

This will help operators determine what information must be retained after an offshore installation has been removed from the field.

Daniel Brown, Manager, CDA Projects, said: “Over the 40-plus year lifespan of an offshore asset, many thousands of boxes of physical records, and millions of electronic files are created.

“Once the asset is removed to be dismantled, many of the records associated with it are no longer required – and deciding what must be retained, and what may lawfully be destroyed, is not a simple task. “

5 Jan 2018

Pixie Energy

Pixie logo Pixie Energy is an incubator and a facilitator of strategic research and project work, focusing on energy regulation, policy and markets at the local and national level. Find out more about Pixie Energy here.

Local Energy Matters: Scotland

Local Energy Matters: Scotland is a free-to-download brochure with a focus on energy tariffs in the two Scottish electricity distribution regions, as well news on local energy and low-carbon schemes.

Previous editions can be download here.

Scottish energy market overview

You can read an overview of the Scottish energy market here.

Scottish Government energy feed