OPPORTUNITY NORTH EAST and Scottish Enterprise – SME Decommissioning programme

Opportunity North East (ONE) and Scottish Enterprise (SE) have jointly developed a programme to assist the oil and gas supply chain to maximise emerging opportunities within offshore decommissioning.  The programme identifies forthcoming project opportunities with sponsor operators and enables the supply chain to propose solutions in response to these on a theme by theme basis.

The programme provides a simple mechanism to enable SMEs to respond to these themed opportunities and present solutions to operator sponsors. It aims to give successful applicants access to and feedback from the sponsor operators, improved understanding of operator needs, improved business cases and business development support. Operator sponsors gain access to targeted solutions focused on their future project needs and may potentially pursue further dialogue with selected applicants.

The programme started in April 2018 and will run until the end of 2020. It will address circa 10 decommissioning opportunities in total, each sponsored by one or more operator companies with specific decommissioning issues to consider. Past, current and future programme opportunities are listed below.

  • Seabed Debris Clearance, sponsored by Shell and ConocoPhillips, launched April 2018
  • Pipeline Bundle Decommissioning, sponsored by Spirit Energy, launched July 2018
  • Cleaning and Flushing, sponsored by Shell, launched September 2018
  • Subsea Concrete Mattress Recovery, sponsored by Fairfield Energy, launched February 2019
  • NOW LIVE Platform Deck Space Solutions – download here

The fifth opportunity invites Scottish supply chain companies to propose solutions for offshore platform deck space, specifically around reducing deck space requirements to improve running costs during the decommissioning phase.  Companies are asked to propose innovative and creative solutions based on existing technology to improve efficiency and reduce cost and safety risk in an environmentally responsible manner.

  • Platform Cranes, to be launched August 2019
  • Drill Cutting Piles Sampling, anticipated launch Q4 2019
  • Underdeck Conductor Removal, anticipated launch Q1 2020
  • Obsolescence of Equipment (Circular Economy), anticipated launch Q2 2020

For further information, contact Keith Mackie, SME Development Manager – Oil, Gas & Energy, Opportunity North East (keith.mackie@opportunitynortheast.com)

The UKCS decommissioning challenge is significant and will span across several decades.  It must be carried out safely and with care to protect the environment. Estimates of scope, complexity and cost vary, but there are over 250 fixed installations, over 250 subsea production systems, over 3,000 pipelines and approximately 3,650 wells to be decommissioned.

In his latest UKCS forecasts, petroleum economist Prof Alex Kemp from the University of Aberdeen forecasts that by 2050 decommissioning expenditures could accumulate to £53 billion. That generates very substantial supply chain opportunities.

In accordance with the principles of MER UK (Maximise Economic Recovery), there is a need to significantly reduce decommissioning costs through increased efficiency and, more importantly, industry transformation.

Our ambition is that north east Scotland remains a major economic driver for Scotland and the UK