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 – submissions close on 29 April 2019 (see below for full details)
  • Platform Cranes, anticipated launch Q2 2019
  • Platform Deck Space, anticipated launch Q3 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

Seabed Concrete Mattress Recovery Opportunity

When decommissioning an offshore facility, the licensees have an obligation to remediate the site of subsea infrastructure. This typically requires the removal and recovery of a large number of concrete mattresses that were placed there to construct, stabilise and protect the subsea infrastructure within the platform and subsea development 500m safety zones. At this point, activity within the 500m safety zone will be post-hydrocarbon risk, minimising any impacts caused by the platform and subsea infrastructure still being in-situ. Mattresses are removed to reduce exposure to future users of the sea and also to provide access to infrastructure, and have traditionally been recovered by controlled marine handling and lifting supported by divers and ROVs.

Propositions are sought to resolve the full scope of the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS) mattress removal challenges (i.e. from removal to shore) although solutions that have restrictions, e.g. working marine environments or water depth, will be considered if deemed suitable for significant elements of scopes.

Download the opportunity document below for full details. Submissions close on 29 April 2019.

Subsea Concrete Mattress Recovery Opportunity Feb 2019 v1

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