In the UK North Sea, there is a significant volume of decommissioning work in the short, medium and long term. Through expected annual investment in the region of £1.5-2bn, there is a significant opportunity to create a sustainable, exportable UK decommissioning market.
Through synergies with other offshore projects, including Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS), hydrogen and renewables, such as wind, there is also opportunity for decommissioning activities to play a critical role in energy transition, therefore helping deliver Net Zero. For instance, there are considerable savings and advantages to be gained through integrating such projects, from sharing vessels and rigs, to adopting certain abandonment practices, so that depleted fields may be used for storage in the future.
The potential re-use and repurposing of platforms, as part of a circular economy, is also a considerable advantage to all parties involved. For example, a field operator is able to defer parts of its decommissioning liability until a later date, whilst a low carbon project developer is presented with several options that would not otherwise be available (leveraging sunken capital).