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Decom Challenges Addressed at Operator/Supply Chain Event

At its inaugural Collaboration and Innovation in Decommissioning event earlier this month, Decom North Sea brought together over 110 delegates – from operator and supply chain companies – to focus upon finding solutions to current and future decommissioning challenges.

Working with the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA), Decom North Sea constructed a highly interactive day comprising presentations, open forum sessions, networking and one-to-one sessions to maximise delegate engagement resulting in the generation of over 120 potential solutions.

Setting the scene, the Oil & Gas Technology Centre and Opportunity North East shared challenges from previous Hackathon events, identifying how these initiatives are currently being taken forward.  The six participating operators - BP, Fairfield Energy, Marathon, Spirit Energy, Total and TAQA – then presented on 18 challenges, set alongside a regulatory context provided by OPRED and SEPA.

Discussing the event, John Warrender, Chief Executive of Decom North Sea said: “The scale of contribution to this event has both impressed and encouraged me. It is clear that those operating within the North Sea are aware of the challenges associated with efficient and effective decommissioning practice, and that the supply chain is able to offer a range of solutions.

“The volume of contributions from this event prove that the objective of decommissioning cost reduction sits at the top of everyone’s agenda.  A shared mindset was the basis of all discussion, which is a positive step in ensuring that smarter execution, swift adoption of innovative technology and a shift in attitude towards collaboration and intelligence-sharing are at the heart of North Sea decommissioning.”

Bill Cattanach, Head of Supply Chain at the OGA added: “Reducing the overall financial burden of decommissioning is an important part of delivering MER UK.  As the sector grows, new ways of working, innovation and engaging the supply chain are needed to make the most of new decommissioning opportunities.

“Many cost-effective solutions lie within the service sector and strong communication between operators and the supply chain is vital to support this capability.  Events like this provide both the vehicle and environment for interactive discussion and are effective in drawing out new ideas and approaches. They provide the supply chain with better visibility of the challenges and opportunities, as well as bringing operators together to share experiences and learnings.”

Summing up the operators’ perspective, Donald Martin, Decommissioning Projects Manager at Spirit Energy said: “As operators, we simply don’t have the capacity to speak to every company from the supply chain on an individual basis.  This event is an excellent way for us to raise our challenges and consider solutions put forward by an impressive cross-section of the sector.”

A report, documenting the challenges addressed at the event, outcomes and next steps is due to be published by Decom North Sea shortly and will be made available to members and delegates.

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