Today the Offshore Europe Partnership announces the launch of a new Decommissioning Zone for SPE Offshore Europe 2107.
The idea of a Decommissioning Zone responds to requests from industry for decommissioning education, solutions and contacts. Working in partnership with Decom North Sea (DNS), the new Zone will provide a platform to share the latest thinking about this increasingly important part of the industry’s lifecycle and to showcase the related technology.
The UKCS decommissioning market is significant, with an estimated spend in 2014 of around £500 million. There will be a steady increase in the number of fields ceasing production, due in part to uncertain oil prices and an inevitable increase in production costs, as assets reach late life. There are already 40 decommissioning programmes in progress, with a further 60 under discussion (DECC, 2014).
In the next 35 years, it is estimated that 5,500 wells, 400 facilities and 10,000km of pipeline are due to be decommissioned in the UKCS. Over the same period, costs are forecast potentially to reach £50 billion (2014 prices).
The new Decommissioning Zone will have a dedicated conference theatre and exhibition, building on the formula adopted by the very successful Deepwater Zone which has now featured at the event for three editions.
Vasyl Zhygalo, Senior Exhibition Director for Reed Exhibitions, says: “The industry sees decommissioning as a developing sector that is full of opportunity and challenge, and our new Decommissioning Zone aims to help advance the discussion around this important topic as well as increase understanding and engagement. This move supports SPE Offshore Europe’s commitment to staging a relevant event ‘for the industry, by the industry’, and maintaining its position as one of the world’s leading E&P conferences and exhibitions.”
DNS chief executive, Karen Seath, welcomes the announcement: “Decommissioning is a sector in its infancy in the North Sea. We are aware of cessation of production (COP) dates through to 2056, with potential associated opportunities, which in the current climate is an important message for our oil and gas service sector. However, we risk those opportunities not being realised and decommissioning becoming a financial burden on the UK tax payer, unless we are all fully appraised of – and understand – where, when and what those opportunities are.
“The introduction of the Decommissioning Zone is a positive step towards ensuring the development of solutions and strategies for safe, efficient decommissioning. We are delighted to be working with SPE Offshore Europe on this.”
More details of the new Decommissioning Zone will follow as plans progress in coming months.