Research into the decommissioning of complex underwater pipeline bundles will be aired in Aberdeen later this month, helping to advise the Government on scripting suitable guidelines. The study was supported by the ITF, the technology facilitator for the global oil and gas industry, and will be led by engineering consultancy PDi.
Currently, there is no guidance for the industry on decommissioning pipeline bundles. The bundles group the flow lines, water injection, gas lift, chemical injection and control systems required for a subsea development in one carrier pipe.
The North Sea has more than 470 offshore installations, 10,000 kilometers of pipelines, 15 onshore terminals and around 5,000 wells. All will need to be decommissioned at an estimated cost of £20-25 billion.
Graeme MacDougall, operations manager at PDi said: “When it comes to decommissioning, pipeline bundles are substantially different from other pipelines and although they may appear similar to trunk lines, as they have a large diameter and sit on the seabed, unlike trunk lines pipeline bundles are all less than 7.5km long.”