News and Events

Report identifies new innovation guidance for North Sea Decommissioning

Charlotte S Charlotte Fernández UKIMEA Press Office,Leeds
27 November 2015

A new report by Arup, prepared in conjunction with Oil & Gas UK and Decom North Sea, recommends how the industry can make the most of innovative processes when decommissioning offshore North Sea platforms.

With over 1,500 installations spanning five national waters, 45,000km² of pipelines, 8,000 wells and an estimated 22 billion barrels of oil still to come, the North Sea presents a technically challenging environment with the platforms requiring decommissioning in the near future.

Throughout this process it’s been clear that North Sea operations are a breeding ground for innovative technology and new methodologies. What’s particularly interesting, however, is the significant challenges that traditional business practices create. Open minded and progressive organisations will greatly benefit from studying other industries and support from regulators. We hope that this report will lead to the development of a culture that nurtures innovation and ultimately have a positive impact on the decommissioning process. Jacob Ahlqvist, Project Manager at Arup

The report, entitled ‘Adoption of Novel Solutions’, investigates barriers which are preventing the oil & gas industry from identifying and adopting new technologies and regulatory mechanisms for the decommissioning of offshore assets.

It is widely recognised that our collective energies must focus on maximising economic recovery of our indigenous resources. This is also a key factor in ensuring there is a predictable and steady cash flow for supporting decommissioning activities as the basin matures. By increasing collective understanding of how the sector can carry out decommissioning activities in a safe, environmentally sound and cost effective way through the adoption of novel technology, including remotely operated tools for access and inspection, and new methodologies to streamline processes, we can improve the efficiency of projects across the basin. Mick Borwell, Environment Director, Oil & Gas UK

There is vast opportunity available in the sector for novel and cross-sector approaches, and it’s a chance for industry to flex its innovative muscle. Commercial constraints and industry opinion are common obstacles to the acceptance of innovation. However, projected statistics make it clear that decommissioning must be undertaken as efficiently as possible, and a crucial step is to ensure we accept, invest in and push innovation forward. Karen Seath, Chief Executive, Decom North Sea

The ‘Adoption of Novel Solutions’ report follows on from a previous paper written by Arup which was also on behalf of Decom North Sea and Oil & Gas UK.