The UK’s decommissioning sector is quickly growing in competitiveness and efficiency.
That’s the conclusion made in a new report launched by Oil & Gas UK (OGUK), which suggests while decommissioning activity on the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS) is expected to increase, expenditure will remain consistent at around £1.5 billion per year thanks to improving efficiency performance.
It notes decommissioning oil and gas infrastructure now represents nearly a tenth of the oil and gas industry’s overall expenditure and will cost around £15.2 billion over the next decade.
Around 9% of all platforms installed on the UKCS have already been decommissioned, although activity in some parts of the region is extending the life of offshore assets and postponing assets being decommissioned.
Looking at the global market, the report predicts $85 billion (£67bn) will be spent shutting down oil and gas assets over the next ten-year period.
In the UK alone, 1,630 wells are expected to be decommissioned over the next ten years, 10% more than the amount closed down in 2018.
OGUK’s Decommissioning Manager Joe Leask said: “Decommissioning is not the end of our industry; it offers a new beginning. Four years ago, industry stepped up to the challenge to cut decommissioning costs by 35% and we are well on the way to achieving that.
“We must apply the same collective determination and pioneering capabilities to deliver the net zero carbon challenge. This includes the re-use of old facilities for carbon capture and storage, presenting new opportunities to generate new value from old assets and help deliver the net zero future that industry has made to commitment to deliver.”