Major decommissioning study launched

Published:  13 April, 2015

ABB Consulting has launched a major study on behalf of Decom North Sea (DNS) and Zero Waste Scotland (ZWS) to look into ways of reducing the cost of decommissioning.

Decom North Sea (DNS), the representative body for the decommissioning industry, commissions and facilitates projects that deliver meaningful benefits for its members and improves the efficiency of future of decommissioning activity. The need for a ‘Removal and Disposal Landscaping Study’ was identified by DNS members following last year’s Decom Offshore conference. The study aims to identify efficient decommissioning solutions which encompass re-use and thereby contribute to the circular economy approach for maximising the useful life of assets.

DNS identified that the industry needed more awareness of the different removal and distribution methods. Currently most operators know what single lift looks like as this has proven application offshore and operators are aware of most contractors operating in this market. A study will engage with operators on the benefits of different techniques available such as Piece Small, Salvage and Load Transfer.

Nigel Jenkins, chief executive of Decom North Sea, said he is looking forward to seeing the study results: “This project was implemented in direct response to our operator member requests and we welcome the great support from Zero Waste Scotland. The circular economy is becoming increasingly prominent nationally, because of the economic opportunities and environmental benefits it presents, which directly reflects the key DNS objective, which is to act as an authoritative driver for innovation, collaboration and efficiency in environmentally-safe decommissioning.”

ABB Consulting will seek to identify the barriers and uncertainties in using these methods and establish who in the industry is offering solutions using such techniques. The study will be conducted through a series of interviews with operator organisations.

From the findings, ABB Consulting will compile a typical offshore inventory of contractors and manufacturers proposing innovative solutions. The study will form business cases for removal methods which will achieve the following goals: reduce decommissioning costs, stimulate innovative methods and technologies and increase the understanding and take-up of the circular economy approach.

Jonathan Turner, senior project manager at ABB Consulting, said: “In recent years, the offshore oil and gas industry has seen a large increase in the anticipated cost of decommissioning. As an industry we need to take steps to understand the challenges, overcome the barriers and establish cost-saving solutions. This type of research will provide a much-needed authoritative overview of what’s happening in the sector and operator concerns in relation to decommissioning.

“ABB Consulting has been gathering extensive information on innovative methods and technologies being used to minimise preparation for lift, optimise module separation and offer faster deck to deck jacket cutting technology.

“In May, we’ll present our conclusions and recommendations in an open forum event. It will centre on informing operators of the benefits that alternative strategies can have on future decommissioning projects and develop solutions to fit their value drivers and contracting strategies.”

An event unveiling the findings of the survey is being held in Aberdeen on 27th May. For more information please visit:

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