The burgeoning decommissioning sector will bring technical challenges and opportunities that the North Sea supply chain are well placed to exploit.
That’s the view of the Oil and Gas Innovation Centre chief operating office Ernie Lamza, who believes technology and innovation will help companies carve out a niche in a market the could be worth anything between $50 and $100billion in decades to come.
“Decommissioning has been in the background for a long time, but in more recent years it has become more of a reality and that is now beginning to focus minds. In some respects it’s still in its early stages, but it is certainly beginning to get the attention of the operators and as a result the supply chain is paying more attention.
“There is a receptiveness and desire from operators to look at new technology that will get the cost of decommissioning down. They want the supply chain to come to them with ways to reduce costs, whilst getting the job done safely,” said Lamza.
“With the low oil price we are now dealing with more of the decom projects are much closer to reality than they perhaps were a couple of years ago.”
OGIC provides a single access point to the knowledge and capabilities of Scottish universities for the oil and gas industry. It can also part-fund and provide management support to projects with the potential to deliver technology solutions to the exploration, production and decommissioning challenges facing the UKCS.
Research that will support decommissioning – specifically the recovery of subsea structures is to be carried out by the University of Dundee on behalf of Xodus, with support from (OGIC).
The Decom Offshore conference held on 25th May at Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre heard how this work is progressing.
It also heard from fellow Aberdeen-base supply chain heavyweight Proserv, which discussed its innovative well severance evolution, which examines new techniques to cut casing strings once wells are ready to be shut in.