Scots university collaborates with industry to launch world’s first oil and gas field decommissioning simulator

The decommissioning simulator
The N. Sea oil and gas decommissioning simulator

A Scottish university has commissioned the world’s first oil and gas field decommissioning simulator to service the £50 billion end-of-life sector.

The simulator and the associated software at Aberdeen’s Robert Gordon University is a world-first and will be used to support decommissioning activities in the North Sea and other parts of the oil and gas mine-workings world.

RGU, in collaboration with funding partners The Oil & Gas Technology Centre, KCA Deutag and Drilling Systems, with technical support from Baker Hughes, has established the simulator to focus on well-plugging and abandonment (P&A).

P&A is an area which is forecast to cost the UK more than £8 billion over the next decade, with around 2,500 wells expected to be decommissioned across the British, Danish, Dutch and Norwegian sectors of the North Sea

The simulator can support both oil and gas operators and service companies with the planning and preparation for well P&A, in a similar way aircraft pilots get trained and tested on flight simulators.

The simulator is a truly unique capability for RGU and for the industry and it has the potential to significantly enhance the safety, improve the efficiency and reduce the cost associated with decommissioning oil and gas wells.

 Professor Paul de Leeuw, Director of RGU’s Oil and Gas Institute said: “By providing this facility at RGU to simulate well decommissioning, we will ultimately be able to enhance safety and reduce the cost of well P&A.

“Operators and drilling contractors will be able to use the simulator to develop the technical and non-technical skills and capabilities of their rig crews for decommissioning wells, while improving team performance.”

5 Dec 2017

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