OEEC: Decommissioning sector highlights the need for teamwork

Offshore Energy Exhibition & Conference (OEEC), held annually in Amsterdam, on Wednesday, October 26 hosted a technical session that discussed the developments in decommissioning of offshore oil & gas installations highlighting the need for collaboration in order to cut costs. 

The technical session titled “Decommissioning: Collaboration and cost efficiency,” was the last one out of ten that took place as part of this year’s OECC held in Amsterdam RAI. The aim of the session was to present ways to cuts costs by working together using recent experiences as examples.

The session was moderated by Roger Esson, Chief Executive at Decom North Sea.

Speakers included Euan Stephan, RIS Manager at Baker Hughes, Mark Stephen Senior Technical Authority at Proserv, Eddie Grant, Business Development Specialist at Gulfstream Services International U.K., Paul Bridgeford, Well Abandonment Technical Sales Engineer at Weatherford, and Dave McKechnie, Manager Decommissioning at EMEA Oceaneering.

All the speakers agreed that decommissioning of offshore installations is a significant market while stressing that it is a must for all stakeholders to join forces in order to cut costs in a low oil price environment.

The session featured several case studies from “practitioners of decommissioning” – coming directly from the field, as Roger Esson put it.

In his speech, Paul Bridgeford discussed the future of “rigless” technology, which is according to him one of the hottest topics in the well abandonment sector. In addition, Bridgeford presented a case study on collaboration between Weatherford and a drilling contractor on a recent North Sea well abandonment project.

Mark Stephen highlighted the need for new and efficient technologies in the decommissioning industry. His presentation included two case studies on decommissioning and one well abandonment project.

A recently completed multi-well campaign in the North Sea was the main subject of the presentation by Euan Stephan who discussed simultaneous rig operations, repeated processes, and utilization of the rigless intervention system.

Edie Grant’s presentation highlighted how SMEs with specialist services can assist the Tier 2 service providers through a “collaborative approach”. He presented two case studies, the first on severance and recovery of dropped casing and the second one on Centrica’s Rose and Stamford gas field decommissioning program.

In the final presentation of the session, David McKechnie of Oceaneering said the decommissioning market has been a “much discussed and emerging market for many years, however, it has been further propelled by the decline in oil prices and a decline in development activities”.

While the development activities are in decline, at the same time, there are a number of aging fields in the North Sea and other regions getting close to being shut down and facing decommissioning.

Providing an example, McKechnie said the projected annual spend over the next five years in the UK is 2 to 2.5 billion pounds.

“There are currently over 800 wells due for plugging and abandonment in the UK alone, and more coming. In the Norwegian sector, we are looking at a similar number,” he concluded.

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