New SME decommissioning programme launches

Opportunity North East (ONE) and Scottish Enterprise (SE) have jointly developed a Decommissioning Programme to assist the oil and gas supply chain maximise emerging opportunities in offshore decommissioning. The Programme has identified several decommissioning opportunities with oil and gas operators. Supply chain companies across Scotland are invited to propose innovative and creative solutions based on existing technology in response to specific opportunities in order to improve efficiency and reduce cost and safety risk in an environmentally responsible manner.

Platform well conductor removal opportunity

Platform Well Conductor removal vertically via the pin and cut method (either by platform equipment or by heavy lift) is an established method. However, technical challenges exist with the integrity of casings and grout bonding, changes (repairs, support shims etc.), access and connector design and supports. Non-rig based solutions are also of interest.

Operators, including opportunity champion EnQuest, are looking for examples of proven successes and also for new innovative (technical and commercial) solutions and efficiency gains to this particular cost challenge. Solutions should be carried out in a safe and environmentally diligent manner, while considering the requirements of access and platform support systems and facilities.

This challenge is therefore consistent across the vast majority of fixed well production platforms and is of interest to all of the 15 operators participating in the ONE and SE Decommissioning Programme.

Propositions received will be reviewed in confidence by an industry panel, with successful applicants being selected to pitch to a number of operator companies. Support will be provided to selected organisations throughout the process, including one-to-one support to build the business case and to develop the operator pitch as well as targeted business support. If a proposition highlights a requirement for a partner(s) in order to provide a comprehensive solution, this dialogue will be encouraged and, if required, facilitated by ONE.

The opportunity seeks to give successful applicants a range of benefits including access to, and feedback from, end-user operators, improved understanding of operator needs, improved business cases and business development support. Operator sponsors will gain access to targeted solutions focused on their operational challenges and may potentially pursue further dialogue with applicants.

How to apply

Interested companies should download the Platform Well Conductor Removal Decommissioning Opportunity document and complete the proposition submission form on page six.

Send any questions or requests for clarification to by 5pm, May 22, 2020, and a response will then be emailed back to the sender within three working days.

The deadline for applications is 5pm, May 29, 2020, and an email will confirm submission receipt. Information received will be treated in confidence and used exclusively for the purpose of assessing the proposition.

UKCS decommissioning market

In line with the UK Government’s Maximising Economic Recovery Strategy (MER UK), there is a need to significantly reduce decommissioning costs by at least 35% through increased efficiency and through industry transformation. According to the Oil and Gas UK Decommissioning Insight 2019, 2,624 wells are expected to be decommissioned in the North Sea Basin over the next decade (1,630 in UKCS), and over 6,000km pipelines are slated for decommissioning in the UKCS in that same timeframe. A workload of 12 topsides per year up to 2025 is forecast to be decommissioned in the UKCS.

A strong UK offshore decommissioning sector capability is therefore important for delivering MER UK, and offers growth potential for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). Anchoring high-value supply chain businesses long-term is a regional and national priority.

Overall, decommissioning presents significant opportunities for innovation, cost reduction and development of skills and capability, providing a major opportunity for North East Scotland and other Scottish supply chain companies to position themselves to bid for and secure decommissioning work in the UK and, by extension, internationally. The Scottish Enterprise Oil & Gas Decommissioning Action Plan describes the potential of the market in further detail.

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