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5 key decommissioning points made at the Offshore Energy Exhibition 2015


Despite the oil and gas industry continuing to face a challenging outlook, it didn’t stop over 11,800 visitors attending the Offshore Energy Exhibition and Conference 2015 in The Netherlands in October.

As well as hosting 658 exhibitors from 86 different countries, the industry event played host to a number of key speakers who focussed on industry hot topics – with decommissioning at the forefront of the biggest discussions.

Decom grabbed the headlines at the exhibition and conference after a technical session with an expert panel that consisted of representatives from EBN BV, Wintershall, Centrica Energy E&P, GDF SUEZ E&P and Oceaneering International Services. It was in this discussion that five key points about decommissioning were made to the audience…

1 - Collaboration is key

Session moderator, and Asset Manager at EBN BV, Eric van Ewijk said that the industry should look to “work as colleagues, not competitors”. According to Eric, an emphasis on collaboration is required for decom projects that involve everyone pulling in the same direction – stakeholders that aren’t committed to the project can become ineffective and useless.

2 - Delay decommissioning

Strong words on delaying decommissioning were said by Peter Valkenier, Engineering and Construction Manager at Wintershall. He pointed towards using decommissioning as the final move for rigs – asset life extension techniques should be embraced to get maximum ROI. Valkenier also suggested that there was a growing threat that regulations well become more adverse and thus drive up costs on decom projects.

3 - Decom projects are unique

Project Coordinator at GDF SUEZ E&P Aart Geurtsen used the session to talk about the importance of treating each project as unique. “Decommissioning decisions are taken on a case-by-case basis” while highlighting the importance of not decommissioning prematurely as well as completing projects in a safe, environmentally friendly and cost-effective manner – echoing the point made by Peter Valkenier earlier on.

4 - Planning is essential

Continuing his point on an efficient decom project, Aart Geurtsen said that planning was essential to maximise value from the remaining assets. To do this, companies need to manage late-life assets differently to regular assets, and ensure that no value is left behind. As a different level of complexity is required to manage old assets, Aart said that any project should be anticipated well in advance to remain on time, on budget and executed to plan.

5 - Industry trust required

Simon Axon, Decommissioning Consultant at Centrica E&P used the session to talk about trust between operators and the supply chain. While choosing the right people to work with in the first place is key, operators and large organisations should not begrudge the fact that everyone else in the supply chain is trying to make a profit too. “There needs to be trust between operators and service providers,” he said.

Photo credit: Offshore Energy Today

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