UK and Norway N. Sea operators hold joint decommissioning know-how pow-wows

Brent Delta platform decommissiioning vessel moves in for the 24,000 tonne lift April 2017
Brent Delta platform decommissioning vessel moves in for the 24,000 tonne lift April 2017

The Industry Technology Facilitator (ITF) and Norwegian Energy Partners (NORWEP) are hosting joint technology ‘knowledge sharing’ events later this month to collectively tackle late life and decommissioning challenges facing N. Sea operators.

Supported by the UK Oil & Gas Authority (OGA) and the Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy, the know-how pow-wows are part of a major North Sea effort to harness new cost-saving ideas and technologies to directly address the key production enhancement and cost reduction challenges laid out by operators.

They will also look at ways to enhance safety, minimise impact on the environment and create additional value for companies and governments.

The UK-Norway Joint Technology Hackathon events will take place in both Aberdeen and Stavanger, and will feature presentations from Aker BP, ConocoPhillips, Point Resources, Repsol Sinopec, Shell and Statoil. 

But some industry observers fear that – irrespective what joint industry and regulator events such as this come up with – Scotland has missed the boat already in capitalising on the economic benefits from the £50 billion decommissioning market because of a lack of investment in large-scale lifting vessels and on-shore break-up yards (such as the foreign-owned vessel used on the Brent Delta platform lift-off, above)

Each operator will share their current challenges in the area, followed by interactive group sessions to discuss potential solutions.  Challenges include balancing late life production with decommissioning and optimising safe, reliable and cost-efficient production from mature fields with significantly extended lifetime. 

Bill Cattanach, Manager of Supply Chain at the OGA, said: “The successful implementation of innovative solutions can extend the life of mature fields and reduce their eventual decommissioning costs. It is accepted many enabling solutions lie within the supply chain and combining forces across the North Sea makes this an even more powerful approach.”

Ben Foreman, ITF Technology Manager, added: “Optimising late life field assets and field abandonment represents a major challenge in the North Sea. 

“The output report will be used to develop an actionable forward plan and we look forward to working with both the OGA and the Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy in facilitating this vital work.

“By directly engaging with influential operator specialists, and collaborating with counterparts in Norway, we have the opportunity to provide a platform to highlight innovative approaches, processes and technologies.”

14 Nov 2017


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