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Issue 15 | February 2014

DECOM NEWS In this issue • • • • • •

Norwegian Director Joins Board Decom Offshore 2014 Training Course Update First Phase of Murchison Contract Pipeline Decommissioning Member News


Cost-effective subsea decommissioning solutions. Delivered by experts. Find out more at:

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Decom North Sea is now entering its 5th year of operations and it’s encouraging to see how the decommissioning sector has evolved over the past few years – contracts are being awarded and activity is ramping up.

Brian Nixon Chief Executive Decom North Sea

There is still a lot to be done, however, to ensure the industry becomes more efficient and to do this we need more accurate intelligence on forthcoming projects as well as a process to capture lessons learned from past projects so the industry doesn’t keep making the same mistakes. These are two particular areas in which we are focussing our efforts on over the next year following the feedback we received from our members in a recent email survey. We will also continue to meet our member’s requirements to raise their profile within the sector and meet with the key players via our programme of events, newsletters and regular emailers. This year will also see the launch of our refreshed website which aims to be more interactive and the hub of information relating to offshore decommissioning. Last November saw the commencement of our training course, ‘Decommissioning – From Planning to Execution’. We hope to get this accredited by the Energy Institute early this year and we plan to roll this out to other parts of country over the next 12 – 18 months. We would encourage anyone who is new to decommissioning or wishes to expand their understanding of the sector outwith their specialist area to consider booking on one of the courses this year. In December, our board of directors met for a full day’s facilitated session to develop key performance indicators for the organisation for the year ahead. These will form the basis of our operation plan which we will share with members following approval from the board in February. As we commence a new membership year from 1st April, we are keen to catch up with as many members as possible to ensure we are meeting your requirements and to help you make the most of your membership. If you have not already done so please contact either myself or Sarah to arrange a meeting.

Brian Nixon

In this issue pg 4 pg 6 pg 8 pg 18

Norwegian Director Joins Board Decom Offshore 2014 Training Course Update First Phase of Murchison Contract

Design & Production

pg 20 pg 22 pg 42 pg 50

Pipeline Decommissioning Member News Member Point of View Events Update

PR & Copywriting 3


Norwegian Director Co-opted onto the Board At the Decom North Sea (DNS) Annual General Meeting (AGM) last October five current directors were re-elected and four new directors were elected onto the board.


Having a board of highlyexperienced directors has been invaluable to the progression of Decom North Sea into the representative body for the North Sea decommissioning sector. We welcome the election of further industry professionals who bring a wealth of knowledge to support DNS as it continues to develop over the coming 12 months. Brian Nixon Chief Executive Decom North Sea

This year Decom North Sea was particularly keen to receive nominations from individuals able to advise the board on financial and legal aspects of Decom North Sea’s operations as well as ensuring the board had a broad representation of the various regions in which the members are based. Based on this, following the AGM, Pamela Ogilvie took up the role as treasurer for the organisation and the board also took the decision to co-opt Torleif Gram from Aker

Solutions to act as a representative for Decom North Sea’s Norwegian members and activity. Membership from Norwegian organisations is growing and it is important that these members are represented on our board. We are therefore delighted to welcome Torleif who will also help us with the planning of future activity and events in Norway, similar to the assistance Dick Lagerweij provides for us in The Netherlands.

The current board structure is as follows: Chief Executive

Brian Nixon


Murdo MacIver - Peterson (UK) Ltd

Vice Chairman

Alex West - Westlord Associates


Callum Falconer - Marathon Oil Roy Aspden - CNR International

Major Contractors

Nigel Lees – Wood Group PSN Ian Whitehead - Petrofac

Service Specialists

David Dent – Proserv Eddie Grant - TETRA

Technical Services, Technology and Equipment Providers

Pamela Ogilvie - Quickflange David Hamill – Stork Technical Services

Specialist Advisors, Consultants & Project Managers

Andrew Sneddon - URS Paul Charlton – PDL Solutions (Europe) Ltd

Marine & Logistics

Dick Lagerweij – Boskalis Offshore Andrew MacDonald – ASCO UK Ltd

Subsea & Wells

Tom Leeson - Halliburton Stuart Wordsworth – SPD Group

Onshore Disposal & Waste Treatment

Mark Stanley – Peterson (UK) Ltd

Torleif Gram

Dr Stewart Davies – Augean Plc Co-opted

Pamela Ogilvie

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Torleif Gram – Aker Solutions


Update on Re-Use Initiative The Decom North Sea Re-Use Workgroup continues to move forward its efforts to encourage greater re-use within the offshore decommissioning sector. It has recently received confirmation of funding support from Zero Waste Scotland to develop guidelines to encourage more companies to consider re-use, to host an event to raise awareness of the benefits of re-use and to publish case studies of successful re-use projects. Case studies will highlight examples of successful re-use projects within the decommissioning industry (oil and gas and other sectors) and will be used for publicity / marketing purposes by Decom North Sea.

Zero Waste Scotland has agreed to fund the production and publishing of case studies both in electronic format and in hard copy. The case studies will be produced as single sheet A4 documents and will also be published on the Decom North Sea and Zero Waste Scotland websites. We see this as a good opportunity for companies to showcase their achievements and to help encourage greater re-use within the decommissioning sector.

If you have a case study you would like to be considered please contact Jim Davis – for further information. We are also interested to hear of examples from companies where re-use has been considered but has not progressed due to certain circumstances – what were the barriers to re-use? Zero Waste Scotland helps individuals, businesses and communities to reduce waste, recycle more and use resources sustainably

Major Research into Oil & Gas Skills The much anticipated oil and gas Labour Market Intelligence Survey is now underway, marking the start of a revolutionary approach to tackling the critical need to attract thousands of new recruits into the oil and gas industry. Skill shortages have been identified as one of the biggest challenges facing the industry. This survey will provide the definitive source of industry recognised information on the size and demographics of the labour market from across the sector and partner organisations to ensure better understanding of the workforce profile. Led and managed by OPITO – the skills for oil and gas organisation – on behalf of industry and in partnership with Decom North Sea and seven other key industry organisations, the LMI is the industry’s response to the urgent need for a less fragmented approach to the skills issue. This significant and vital research will be shared across the industry and with education providers, government agencies, other industry bodies and stakeholders to help ensure the current and future workforce has the necessary skills to fulfil the potential of the UK’s most prosperous industrial sector. “The oil and gas industry has seen a number of reports authored over the last two or three years which have reported that skills shortages are a significant issue for the industry now and for the future. Increasingly, variations in the findings in this field have caused confusion

for industry and training providers,” said John McDonald, managing director of OPITO. “Despite significant investment largely from industry, but more recently from Government, and a raft of private and public initiatives, we are still not properly addressing the skills challenges in oil and gas. It is vital that more definitive action to deliver a sustainable supply of people into the industry is taken. “Valuable activities and initiatives do exist but there are so many voices speaking that it is difficult to hear the real issues and make sure that the right people are listening. A landmark shift has to happen if the industry is to break the cycle which it has been struggling to overcome for decades. “At the heart of that is the need to capture accurate labour market intelligence to determine the real facts about the current and expected skills gaps across all industry sectors.” As a member of the LMI steering group Decom North Sea is working closely with OPITO, Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce, ECITB, Energy North, IADC – North Sea Chapter, the OCA, Oil & Gas UK and Subsea UK to create a robust and reliable study that will give greater clarity of specific gaps and allow the industry

to target activities to address them to meet the long term demand for a skilled workforce. The online interactive questionnaire, issued by Experian, will look at previous and existing, relevant research and summarise the rationale for this study. “It will profile the oil and gas industry, looking at the skills throughout the current workforce and the different roles that exist; and identify key industry influences moving forward including external factors as well as structural changes,” continued Mr McDonald. “From that, a skills forecast will be produced which will meet the potential of our industry in the future which is why it is so important that the industry gets behind it and takes part. “This significant and vital research will be shared across the industry and with education providers, government agencies, other industry bodies and stakeholders to help ensure our current and future workforce has the necessary skills to fulfil the potential of the UK’s most prosperous industrial sector.” The analysis of the data collected is underway with the launch of the results scheduled to take place in March 2014. 5


Decom Offshore 2014, 27th of May, Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre. Event Overview Following on from the success and great feedback on the Decom Offshore 2013 event, planning is now underway for 2014. The aim of this interactive event is to advise the supply chain of the challenges faced by Operators and Tier 1 Contractors when undertaking an offshore decommissioning project, and to inform the Operators and Tier 1 Contractors of innovative solutions and techniques which the supply chain can offer to address these challenges. The event format will be a mixture of interactive plenary sessions, exhibition space and 1-2-1 opportunities as well as plenty of time for networking. This year we will also be hosting a networking reception, the evening prior to the conference on the 26th of May at the Maritime Museum. Why should you attend? Operators/ Tier 1 Contractors • Introductions and access to new technologies and innovative solutions to help ensure your forthcoming

decommissioning projects are undertaken in the safest, most environmentally friendly and cost effective way. Tier 2 to SMEs • An understanding of forthcoming projects and timelines. • Access to key contacts behind these projects. Industry One to One’s The aim of Decom 2014 is to be as interactive an event as possible with plenty of opportunity for dialogue between the operators and tier 1 contractors and the rest of the supply chain. We will be offering a meeting card service on the day where you will have the opportunity to fill in a card with who you would like to meet and we will do our best to facilitate that introduction. Closer to the event our speakers will be providing details of the type of company(s) they would like to meet. If you think your organisation could fit with the type of company they have described then you will have the opportunity to set up a 1-2-1 15 min scheduled meeting with that speaker.

Book Tickets Book your tickets now from our website for this fantastic event. Tickets include entry to our networking reception prior to the conference on the 26th of May, at the Maritime Museum. Ticket Prices: Members: £235 + VAT Non-members: £365 + VAT Exhibition Opportunities Exhibiting at Decom Offshore 2014 is an excellent opportunity to display your organisation’s skills and capabilities to the key decision makers within the offshore decommissioning industry. The exhibition area is the main networking area of the event and will be where all the delegates are served lunch and refreshments throughout the day. Sponsorship Opportunities Decom Offshore 2014 offers you the chance to raise your company profile to potential customers from across the offshore decommissioning industry. Sponsorship is an effective marketing tool to raise awareness about your company and enhance visibility of your products and services to an industry specific audience.

Decom Offshore 2013 – feedback Excellent from the perspective of wanting to meet individuals. We used the 1-2-1 but also found the stalls really beneficial for our purposes of introduction ourselves. The opportunities for networking, and the one to one discussions set this apart. Superb. I would say it exceeded my expectations – The event flowed along very well with very interesting topics. Share and gather information, trends and opinions regarding the decommissioning market (present & future).

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Very well done! The event was well attended and exceeded my expectations.

Differentiated itself from Bergen & St Andrews.

It is important to attend these events for the following reasons: learn about capabilities of different companies, lessons learned on pervious projects, learn from experienced personnel, network with relevant personnel. Learn about new technologies & expand your overall knowledge on decommissioning.

Excellent day, good diversity of topics well attended, made some new contacts.

We gained strong insight into the varied world of decommissioning & now have a better understanding of the types of companies operating in this field. We made a number of contacts and are hopeful of getting more engaged with DNS.

Unbeatable. For more information please visit our website DecomOffshore2014 or contact Jennifer Mann, Marketing & Events Manager on


Well Plugging & Abandonment – Incentivisation? In August 2013, an operator member of Decom North Sea approached the executive team to ask for assistance in exploring contract incentivisation for decommissioning, in particular well plugging and abandonment (p&a). It was decided that a facilitated workshop was needed between operators and some of the main well p&a contractors to understand the different parties views on this and what can be done to address any challenges or issues. Decom North Sea member, Accenture, specialise in this type of facilitation and very kindly offered us their services as well as the use of their state of the art innovation centre in London. The first stage of the process was separate facilitated sessions for the operators and the contractors in Aberdeen so that the respective groups could feel comfortable discussing the issue with their peers and without the pressure of their customers/ suppliers being in attendance. Both groups reviewed the current situation in relation to decommissioning in the North Sea and then identified areas where operators

and contractors could work together in the future, what success would look like, what were the barriers to success as well as identifying current strengths which could be built on. The output from both sessions was then shared with everyone before the two groups came together at the Innovation Centre in London in November. Utilising the latest technology, the small group of operators and contractors discussed the various ideas developed at the initial workshops and then prioritised the key objectives where both the operators and contractors felt they could work together in order to become more efficient at offshore decommissioning. The three outcomes were: • Work together earlier & better – by designing an incentive scheme which makes successful, long

term working relationships attractive. • Develop a multi-party approach – by creating the value proposition for a multi-operator portfolio of wells • Raise awareness and promote decom – by promoting decommissioning as an innovative, challenging and enjoyable industry Each of the initiatives has two sponsors from the delegates who attended the workshop and they are now tasked with driving the initiatives forward with support from Decom North Sea and Accenture. An event is planned in the next couple of months where Accenture will present on the outcomes from the innovation workshop and volunteers will be sought from Decom North Sea members to join workgroups to help develop these initiatives. 7


Decomareus: Great Start to the Decommissioning Training Course Chris Gray, David Hoare and Bob Hemmings of Decomareus were greatly encouraged by the response to their first training endeavour. “Planning to keep the group small really helped get a good interactive session going and the participants reaction to the content and discussion was really pleasing. We have put a lot of effort into presenting a good balance between basic understanding of the scope, the detail of what needs to be considered and making some of the operators activities more transparent around preparing for end of field life and decommissioning “ said Bob “so the feedback was reassuring that we did manage to get across our experiences of the challenges, lessons and improvement areas. Plus of course we also listened and learned ourselves on how to adjust and improve the overall content.” The course covers the legislative landscape, the importance of early preparation activities, safety and environmental issues through to execution, removal and dismantling for the range of offshore infrastructure. More details can be found on the Training section of the Decom North Sea Website. The 2 days are aimed at raising awareness and identifying good practices and improvement opportunities and should appeal to a wide range of participants. People new to the industry and

others with perhaps some limited knowledge, should all get an improved insight into the range of activities and decisions involved. ‘We are hoping to attract managers and engineers both directly involved in oil and gas projects and late life asset management from operators and the supply chain but also people involved in the financial, legal and regulatory aspects, who may be getting increasingly involved in decommissioning and need a better overall understanding.’ ‘All in all, we are really looking forward to delivering the next course in February!’ Brian Nixon, Chief Executive of Decom North Sea added “The two-day training course, led by three industry experts boasting 105 years’ experience, provides fantastic opportunities for industry newcomers. There was also a call for more specific and detailed courses on individual aspects of the decommissioning process which we will design and develop. The first course was very well received and we will repeat it in other parts of the country and Norway and the Netherlands too.”


The Decom North Sea Decommissioning course was brilliantly delivered by three industry experts boasting105 years Oil and Gas experience between them. The course offered a valuable insight of decommissioning from an operators perspective. Brian Nixon Chief Executive Decom North Sea

Forthcoming 2014 Dates for your diary: 26th & 27th of February Aberdeen 30th of April & 1st of May Norwich 25th & 26th of June Aberdeen 19th & 20th of November Aberdeen

Delegate feedback from our first two day training course held in November 2013: The 3 course leaders, collectively known as Decomareus, have a wealth of expertise and industry experience to draw on and present a stimulating overview of all areas of this emerging business. The participants at the course I attended had a wide range of backgrounds and perspectives which made for some stimulating discussions. I have been involved in decommissioning for almost 25 years and was surprised to find out what I did not know about

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decommissioning, if that makes sense. As individual companies focusing in one or two specific decommissioning areas we tend to miss the big picture. Very enlightening course and would highly recommend to anyone interested in decommissioning not only as a business but a career. As was to be expected from Decom North Sea, Decommissioning from Planning to Execution proved to be a detailed and very informative two days. It was great to hear about the whole breadth of Decommissioning

experience from three experienced and knowledgeable practitioners. Coming from a relatively small company within the decommissioning supply chain it was really helpful to be able to place our experiences into the broader picture from an oil company perspective. Although I knew about several aspects of decommissioning, I now understand the context and where they fit within the overall process. We certainly intend to utilise this knowledge to assist our customers and add value to future projects.


From Planning – Execution, Training Course, November 2013 Attendees Sabre zone 1 decom ad AW.pdf










K 9


Southern North Sea Special Interest Group In the next 5 years over 40 platforms are expected to be removed in the UK sector of the Southern North Sea (SNS) at a cost of around £610 million. This presents an excellent business opportunity for organisations operating in the East of England. In 2012, Decom North Sea and East of England Energy Group (EEEGr) formed the Southern North Sea Decommissioning Special Interest Group (SIG) to ensure that organisations in the East of England were aware of this business opportunity and potentially benefitting from it. So far the group has met four times via a mixture of facilitated workshops, to determine the focus of the group, and lunch & learn style events, where organisations from the region already active in decommissioning shared their expertise and experiences. In the summer of 2013 both Decom North Sea and EEEGr felt it would be beneficial to form a steering group of industry representatives to help steer the focus of the SIG, identify speakers for future events and identify initiatives to help develop the sector within the region. Nominations were sought from both Decom North Sea and EEEGr members and the group was determined based on individual’s experience in offshore decommissioning and knowledge of the region. The purpose of the steering group is to stimulate business opportunities relating to decommissioning for the Southern North Sea by promoting local skills and capabilities and attracting inward investment.

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The main objectives of the group are: • Agree focus of quarterly SNS Special Interest Group events • Identify and assist with sourcing speakers for the events • Determine initiatives which Decom North Sea and EEEGr can take forward to meet the needs/ desires of the membership of the SNS Special Interest Group • Identify funding streams to take forward these initiatives. Simon Gray, Chief Executive of EEEGr commented, “The work of the group will provide valuable support for efforts to persuade international companies to come to the region and take advantage of its ports, infrastructure, offshore skills and expertise established over many years” ASCO regional director Glen Hurren, appointed chairman of a steering group set up to lead the initiative, said it would promote the infrastructure and skills of the region to help compete for decommissioning work which might otherwise go to northern Europe. “Through collaboration I want to see us attract this work to the region along with the employment and wealth it will bring.” The next SNS SIG event will be on 29th April. Check the Decom North Sea and EEEGr website for more details.

The group consists of the following individuals: Glenn Hurren (Chairman) - ASCO John Best (Vice Chairman) - Fender Care Marine Sarah Hillyear - Decom North Sea Martine Watker - EEEGr Simon Gray - EEEGr Bill Cattanach - DECC Ian Nish - Claxton Engineering Richard Moralee - OSL Consulting Richard Innes - Perenco Donald MacKay - Schlumberger Mike Luchford - Squibb Group Eddie Grant - TETRA


Leading Players Set for EEEGR’s Major Energy Conference More top names have been lined up for the country’s most significant conference and exhibition focused on the Southern North Sea energy business to be held in Norwich this year.


There are increasing signs of expansion and development in our region’s energy world in readiness for growth in the offshore wind, gas and nuclear sectors and the conference will offer crucial leads and key pointers on how to win that new business. It also offers ample opportunities to meet and network with leading players in the industry. Simon Gray, Chief Executive EEEGR

More top names have been lined up for the country’s most significant conference and exhibition focused on the Southern North Sea energy business to be held in Norwich this year. Shell, EDF Energy Schlumberger, East Anglia Offshore Wind and Aker Solutions are among companies which will feature at the two-day SNS2014: Sea of Opportunity event staged by EEEGR (East of England Energy Group) at the Norfolk Showground on March 5-6th. Around 500 delegates and more than 80 exhibitors are expected to take part. “The focus is not just on the incredible range of business opportunities and the market potential within the East of England but the innovation and technology which will give us the competitive edge in a fiercely combative industry,” said EEEGR chief executive Simon Gray.

Energy Minister Michael Fallon is already confirmed as a keynote speaker on the second day which includes Japp Klein, of Shell, and Gordan Ballard, of Schlumberger, talking about supply chain opportunities, and Chris Squire of EDF Energy on the use of local quays and outflows. The first day, focused mainly on technology and innovation, includes Jason Martin of East Anglia Offshore Wind developers of the 7200MW windfarm off the Norfolk/Suffolk coast - and a speaker from Aker on its pioneering plans for monitoring new technology. There are also plans for a skills and education event earlier in the busy opening day which is capped with a reception and gala dinner in the evening. For further details or to book visit

Want to Raise Your Profile? The Decom Website offers a range of opportunities for companies looking to get themselves noticed within the offshore decommissioning industry. • Widely regarded as the hub for information, news and events about the offshore decommissioning industry and over 40,000 views every year • With a growth of over 35% in website traffic, there has never been a better time to advertise on the Decom website

For more information on rates and availability email: 11


Decom North Sea 2013 Highlights

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Offshore Decommissioning Conference Quotes

The 2013 Offshore Decommissioning Conference organised by

Great place for networking, several relevant exhibitors this year. The best gathering in the UK of active Decommissioning people. Good networking event with good contacts for further business development. The appetite for working together – the “collaboration” theme of the conference and the willingness of DECC and Operators to move forward on this. An excellent event which is well facilitated & the location works splendidly in keeping everyone in the same place. A number of this year’s presentations were particularly well delivered, edgy and thought provoking, well done.

Decom North Sea and Oil & Gas UK and sponsored by Ernst & Young LLP was a sell-out again with over 300 delegates attending the 2 day conference at the Fairmont Hotel in St Andrews. A number of industry experts shared their knowledge of decommissioning and encouraged delegates to participate in a range of interactive discussions on topical issues, updates on current projects and case studies from recent experience. The title of last year’s conference was ‘Assessing the benefits of collaboration’, a topic which was discussed in depth during a ‘Question Time’ debate titled, ‘Sleeping with the enemy or comfortable bed fellow?’ The latest results from Oil & Gas UK’s Decommissioning Insight Survey were also shared at the conference. Drawing on the

plans of 27 operators operating in the UKCS, the 2013 survey indicates that a total of £10.4 billion is to be spent on the decommissioning of assets in the UKCS between 2013 and 2022 and that spending on decommissioning all assets will be in excess of £31.5 billion. The Offshore Decommissioning Conference 2014 jointly organised by Decom North Sea and Oil & Gas UK will be held on October 8 and 9 at the Fairmont Hotel, St Andrews. We are currently looking for volunteers to sit on the organising committee for the conference, if this is of interest please contact .


Decommissioning: From Planning to Execution Decom North Sea in partnership with Decomareus Ltd have launched a new training course focused on Offshore Decommissioning. The overall objective is to inform participants of the background, scope and cover some of the key issues associated within the decommissioning sector over a two day period: • Overview • Cost • Legislation & Approvals • Safety Aspects

• Stakeholder Engagements • Preparation & Operating Interface • Wells P&A Overview • Cleaning & Hook Down

• Subsea & Pipelines • Removal & Lift • Onshore Dismantling • Ongoing Liability

Case study examples and lessons learned from previous projects will be used throughout. This course is aimed at both Members and Non-Members of Decom North Sea who want to learn more about offshore decommissioning. To book or for more information about our Training Course’s please visit our website or contact Jennifer Mann on 15


Murchison Case Study The Murchison platform in the Northern North Sea is operated by CNR International on behalf of its Norwegian partners Wintershall and is still in production. It is located in a field straddling UK/ Norwegian waters approximately 240km north-east of Shetland and 550km north-east of Aberdeen. It is the biggest steel jacket so far in the world to go through the decommissioning process, weighing in at 27,600 metric tonnes (29,762 tons). The field was discovered in 1975, with the Murchison platform installed in 1979 and first oil produced in 1980. It sits in 156metres of water and the platform measures 254metres from the seabed to the top of the flare stack. Decommissioning planning work started in 2009, with three years of extensive surveying, data collection and studies taking place before a decommissioning programme was submitted to the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change in 2013 . Because the platform had changed hands several times over the years, it was a challenge for CNR International to track down all the information needed by the regulator. The company had to carry out its own surveys to fill in the knowledge gaps – in total 70 studies from 30 different companies ranging from marine contractors to environmental experts. The work required was so extensive that one contractor alone had a team of 30-40 people

dedicated to it. After that vast body of work was completed, it all had to be independently audited to ensure there was no bias towards any particular solution. Work to plug and abandon the 33 platform wells has commenced. It involves concrete being poured into each well to form 100ft plugs that isolate producing geological levels from the surface. Because the wells are still in production, the P&A task is more straightforward than it can be where production has ceased and the condition of the wells rapidly deteriorates. Permanent shutdown of the platform is scheduled for 2014 when the complex processes to clean it and make it safe will continue on to 2016. Detailed engineering work will go on in tandem building up to the infrastructure being taken ashore at that point for reuse, recycling or disposal. The platform has facilities for drilling, production and accommodation (263 beds) supported on an 8-legged jacket made of steel. CNR International has applied for a derogation to remove the platform structure down to the

top of the steel “footings’’ at 44metres above the seabed, which would be possible because of Murchison’s size and the early date of its installation. These footings would then degrade naturally with time. The jacket is too big to look at a single lift option at present, but that could change in future with new methods being developed. The 24,500 tonne (27,006 ton) topside comprises 26 modules, so could be broken down into these separate components and lifted back to shore. On completion of the main decommissioning programme of work, a seabed survey would take place to identify any oilfieldrelated debris within a 500metre zone around the platform and a 200metre-wide corridor along each pipeline. A plan would then be agreed with DECC to manage and recover any debris. The main pipeline leading from the platform would be covered with rocks over exposed sections.

The Murchison platform lies in the northern sector of the north sea and provides hotel accommodation for up to 200 people required to operate and maintain production. Whilst the platform crew travel out to the platform by helicopter, bulk supplies and specialist equipment is shipped out using supply boats.

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Exploded image of the topside The Murchison topsides consist of 26 modules that were fabricated onshore , shipped to site and installed using a very heavy lift barge. After installation, the individual modules were joined together in a 12-month hook up and commissioning programme.

Field location and layout diagram

The Murchison platform is part of a complex infrastructure that exports oil through a pipeline to Dunlin and then on to the Sullom Voe Oil Terminal whilst fuel gas is imported from the northern leg gas line which is operated by BP. The Murchison platform owners have had to work closely with operators of the adjacent facilities to plan decommissioning activities without impacting other platform operations. 17


Aker Solutions Awarded a Three Year Contract by CNR International (CNRI) for the First Phase of Decommissioning Murchison. A GIANT in the story of the North Sea, the Murchison platform was among the leading lights of the oil boom of the 1980s. Now, more than 30 years on, it continues to play a pioneering role. In October 2013, Aker Solutions was awarded a three year contract by CNR International (CNRI) for the first phase of decommissioning Murchison. The second major North Sea decommissioning contract announced last year, it is seen as further evidence that the long awaited campaign to decommission the North Sea’s ageing infrastructure is gathering momentum. CNRI decommissioning project manager Roy Aspden said: “The capability to deliver safe, cost-efficient decommissioning is a key requirement for our long term sustainable North Sea business. “Safe and efficient decommissioning reduces uncertainty for operators, creates predictability and confidence for investment in this mature basin which in turn can stimulate investment in new fields and existing field developments. From that we sustain a vibrant basin for decades to come with further opportunities for service providers. “Aker Solutions put forward an outstanding proposal for Murchison and we look forward to working together to deliver an excellent decommissioning project.” “Decommissioning will be a key area of focus for the UK oil and gas industry over the next couple of decades as we see a growing number of historic oil and gas installations taken out of service,” added Mike Forbes, managing director of Aker Solutions’ maintenance, modifications and operations business in the UK. “As one of the most experienced contractors in decommissioning and recycling of North Sea installations, we understand the need to provide innovative and bespoke solutions for these special projects.” Pioneering Platform The Murchison field lies in UK Block 211/19 and extends into the Norwegian Block 33/9 in the northern North Sea, 150 kilometres

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northeast of Shetland. Discovered in 1975 and approved for development three years later via a single production, drilling and living quarter’s platform, Murchison was brought onstream in 1980. Operating in a water depth of 156m, it boasts 26,400 tonnes of eight-legged steel jacket supporting 24,500 tonnes of topside modules for drilling, production and accommodation. Now reaching the economic and technical end of field life, the cessation of production process is well underway. “As a prudent and responsible operator, we initiated the planning for the decommissioning of the Murchison field in the UK sector of the North Sea in 2010 ahead of an anticipated cessation of production on the platform in early 2014,” said Mr Aspden. “The pre-planning investigated all alternative uses for the platform and involved a series of detailed studies. These formed the basis of a comparative assessment of options to identify the best way forward, balancing environmental, societal, safety, technical and economic factors. Both the comparative assessment process and the studies on which it was founded have been subject to verification by independent review consultants.” The resulting recommendations were captured in the Draft Decommissioning Programmes, describing proposals for both the platform installation and pipelines, and subject to statutory and public consultation between May and July 2013. In September 2013 the Post Consultation Draft Decommissioning Programmes were submitted to the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC). DECC then invited CNRI to submit a derogation application for review by the international community through the OSPAR Commission, the results of which are expected in late March 2014. “With decommissioning across the industry

still in its relative infancy, the best practice approach to taking large-scale platforms out of service is still, to some extent, evolving,” added Mr Aspden. “For the Murchison project to be a success, we set out a number of goals for ourselves and all our contractors from the outset. HSE excellence, predictability of outcomes, continuous improvement and cost efficiency are among them but it is also vital that the project be carried out with integrity that expert studies and engagement with stakeholders are used to base decisions on informed knowledge base and to ensure communication is maintained throughout. “Key to this success is a proactive approach from all project partners to work together and effective interfacing is vital to optimise the time from close of production to idle. Early signs are positive and the existing platform crew have been extremely cooperative with the well plug and abandonment crews and decommissioning and removal survey teams. “It is also encouraging to see Aker Solutions working with the supply chain. Subcontractors and vendors form an integral part of our oneteam approach and leveraging this capability significantly enhances the project team.” Innovative Approach Aker Solutions will lead with the engineering down and conversion of the platform to NUI (normally unmanned installation) status in 2014/2015 and support, as required, the preparation for removal scheduled for 2016. Having carried out the most decommissioning work of any Tier 1 contractor across the Norwegian and UKCS, the company is able to bring that experience to the table for CNRI. This includes knowledge gained from Total’s Frigg Cessation Project – the biggest


Ready for Removal the Frigg SP2 Jacket

decommissioning scope undertaken to date – and the Maureen A removal for ConocoPhillips, the world’s largest oil and gas structure to be decommissioned. Aker Solutions was also duty holder for the Hess AH001 platform during the warm stack decommissioning. “The priorities for any decommissioning project are threefold: cost, HSE and reputation,” said Mr Forbes. “Identifying the most appropriate methods you can employ to ensure a positive result in all of those areas is key. It was critical for us when looking at the Murchison project from the outset to challenge conventional thinking and minimise the scope through clever lifecycle solutions.” To date, the traditional approach for large structures has been to carry out too much work and too much of that offshore. This raises the risk of schedule and cost over-runs, when operators require cost assurances on decommissioning provisions. From a review of the Murchison scope, Aker Solutions took the decision to recommend deleting scopes and deferring as much work as possible to onshore disposal facilities, at a lower cost base. This not only provides greater assurance on the schedule, it provides huge opportunities for inventive and ingenious cost savings. Indeed innovation is where Aker Solutions excels. As the main contractor for the whole Frigg Cessation Project, Aker Solutions removed six topsides and three jackets totalling around 80,000 tonnes of steel. A challenging assignment consisting of a variety of platform concepts, the approach combined all known industry practices with new and innovative methods developed during the execution phase. This included Aker Solutions engineers removing the DP2 jacket in a single lift using its patented buoyancy tank method. This facilitated

CNRI Murchison Platform

the removal of the jacket structures without the need for heavy lift vessel support. The company also developed new technology for the rapid sea fastening of structures when set down on an offshore barge. This technology, known as FlexSeaFast®, was used to successfully transport the 8500 tonne Frigg TCP2 main structural frame to Shetland. The system consists of patterned steel gripper plates that connect with rubber elements located on the transportation barge. Another example of finding innovative solutions was in 2003 when Aker Solutions conducted the engineering down of the Maureen A project. This pioneering development achieved a very high percentage recycle factor of >99.5% of the 110,000-tonne steel gravity platform with most materials disposed of locally. The platform and loading buoy were refloated, towed to shore and deconstructed with the base of the platform cut up and used as part of as deepwater quay at the Aker Solutions Stord yard, whilst the concrete column was used as part of a nearby breakwater. Aker Solutions’ approach to Murchison is working towards identifying and capturing similar opportunities, such as innovative power generation solutions, lifecycle cost reductions and design consideration of the removal process. The engineering down and Tartan systems will be delivered according to Aker Solutions’ proven Project Execution Model which has specific processes developed for decommissioning. This will ensure the company remains aligned with CNRI’s aspirations and objectives throughout. Shaping the Future Aker Solutions is under no illusion that the industry will be watching progress of the Murchison project with attentive eyes.

It is estimated that the total industry cost of UKCS decommissioning in the next five years will amount to £5 billion, focusing on 40 platforms and their associated wells, pipelines and subsea structures across 80 fields. For the Murchison project alone, it is anticipated up to 150 new jobs will be created in Aberdeen as a result of the contract. “Offshore assets built in the early days of the North Sea boom were not fully designed with decommissioning in mind; so to a certain degree the cost of decommissioning large steel and concrete structures is still to be determined,” said Mr Forbes. “Our ambition is to leave a positive legacy in terms of sharing the knowledge and experience we glean by delivering these projects to the wider sector and help position the industry for the rise in decommissioning work in the years to come. “Critical to that is engaging with stakeholders and fostering close relationships with platform operations. Their input and buy-in to the process is integral to our approach as while the preparation for Murchison’s shutdown started back in 2010, for us the technical work is just beginning. “To my mind, this project is among the most exciting and pioneering being undertaken in our industry today. Technology for decommissioning is continually being developed and challenges vary considerably according to structure size and the water depth at which platforms are installed. “But it has been demonstrated in recent years that major projects can be completed to high safety and environmental standards. As an organisation, we want to be at the forefront of driving this activity and setting the standards for the global projects that follow.” 19


Pipeline Decommissioning – Execution and Close-Out Introduction to pipeline decommissioning As the pipeline decommissioning industry is still in its infancy, it is important to collaborate and learn from the experience gained in recent projects to successfully progress. In the recent Oil & Gas UK (OGUK) report, “Decommissioning of pipelines in the North Sea Region 2013,” it was stated that there are now 45,000 kilometres of pipelines, umbilicals and cables in the North Sea. This equates to over 2,500 individual pipelines, and the figure is ever increasing with the subsea industry continuing to boom. So far, only 2% of the pipelines in the North Sea have been decommissioned. This demonstrates that there is a significant amount of learning to be done in order to develop techniques, enabling methods to increase in efficiency and effectiveness. Current industry estimates, stated in Oil & Gas UK’s “Decommissioning Insight Report 2013,” are that between 2013 and 2040, £31.5 billion will be spent on decommissioning. Approximately 475 installations, 5,000 wells and 27,500 kilometres of pipelines are due to be decommissioned. Over the next decade, £10.4 billion is the estimated cost covering 130 installations, 2,300 kilometres of pipelines and 800 wells to be decommissioned. This shows that the industry is gaining momentum with heavy investment from operators and the government. The influx of spend should give contractors an incentive to invest in new techniques, as increasing efficiency is the only way to drive down estimated decommissioning costs. Collaborative effort, incentives and investment are all necessary components for the decommissioning industry to thrive, and are extremely important for future success. With many lessons still to be learned, cooperation and the sharing of knowledge are particularly important and will be crucial in helping the industry move forward. The Decommissioning Cost breakdown available on the Decom North Sea Website, shows a cost breakdown for a typical decommissioning project. It is obvious to see that well plugging and abandonment makes up the majority of the decommissioning cost at 43%, and an area which needs to be invested in to ensure the process can become more efficient. However, if we look at the subsea infrastructure (8%) and the subsea site remediation (3%), this equates to 11% to be

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spent on pipeline decommissioning, associated ancillary equipment and debris. When such large costs are involved it is important to focus on all areas and look for ways to improve systems in place to reduce the overall cost. Jee decommissioning experience Jee Ltd is a subsea engineering and training firm with extensive decommissioning expertise gained from a multitude of projects completed for global operators. The company provides integrated services covering the whole life-offield and has comprehensive decommissioning capabilities. These include initial pipeline studies which feed into comparative assessments during the development of the programme, to representing the client during offshore decommissioning and facilitating the closeout and handover process including collating lessons learned. The Oil & Gas UK pipeline decommissioning report states that only 62 km of pipeline over 16” in diameter (trunklines) have been decommissioned in the North Sea to date. Jee was heavily involved in the execution and closeout of the North West Hutton Project, which decommissioned the 12.8 km, 20” oil export line, contributing to the decommissioning of just over 20% of the trunklines which have been decommissioned in the North Sea. Learning from North West Hutton Jee acted as the BP client representative during the decommissioning of the subsea infrastructure. During these campaigns, the two pipelines, a 10” gas import line (PL 147) and a 20” oil export line (PL 148) were decommissioned along with their associated equipment. Overview of PL 147 activities PL 147 was made up of a 12.6km, 10” pipeline and a 246m, 6” flexible. The 10” gas import pipeline travelled from the Ninian tee to North West Hutton installation. The pipeline was made from carbon steel and had a coal tar wrap together with a 45mm reinforced concrete coating. The pipeline reduced to a 6” flexible pipeline. The 6” flexible crossed the 16” Welgas pipeline from Cormorant Alpha. A subsea isolation valve (SSIV) was located approximately 240m away from the platform and connected by a control umbilical. The majority of the 10” pipeline was already trenched and covered with rock dump and so

was left in-situ with certain sections removed where it protruded the rock dump. The decommissioning activities for PL 147 were as follows: • Remove SSIV – this was split into 2 parts 60:40 and lifted • 53 mattresses (5x2x0.15m) protecting the control umbilical • The control umbilical was lifted and cut into forty eight 5.5m sections • 24 mattresses (10x2x0.3m), protecting the 6” flexible. These had to be cut in half to fit into the speed loaders • The 6” flexible was cut into thirty eight 5.5m sections and removed Overview of PL 148 activities PL 148 was a 20” oil export pipeline from North West Hutton to Cormorant Alpha. The pipeline was 12.8km and crossed other pipelines in three locations. PL 148 is made from carbon steel and was coated with coal tar epoxy reinforced with glass fibre and reinforced concrete. The pipeline lay un-trenched on the seabed. The decommissioning activities for PL 148 were as follows: • ~240m of pipeline removed at the Welgas crossing • ~280m of pipeline removed where it crossed the Shell P1 and nearby P1 control umbilical • The remainder of the pipeline was trenched other than within the Cormorant Alpha 500m zone • The trench was left to fill naturally over time Lessons Learned During the project there were a number of lessons learned. One of the most standout features was time-saving opportunity within mattress decommissioning. 26 mattresses had to be cut in half prior to loading. A “splitter cutter” tool was developed offshore to do this and four hours and 14 minutes were spent cutting these 26 mattresses in half. Eleven mattresses in a different location were found to be a different type than expected. These had to be trimmed to fit in speed loaders. A total of eight hours and 14 minutes were spent trimming these mattresses. Using speed loaders makes for an efficient use of deck space, but the process


Figure 1: North West Hutton field layout

of deploying them as well as loading and recovering mattresses is slow. As the Oil & Gas UK pipeline report estimates that there are up to 40,000 mattresses in the North Sea, there is the opportunity for new and more efficient techniques to be developed to recover them. Having shared these lessons learned with a vessel contractor recently, it is clear that an incentive is required to encourage the move away from traditional methods and the production of new mattress recovery techniques. Perhaps incentives can be driven by lump sum contracts or even Oil & Gas UK research and development? There were also lessons to be learned in pipeline cutting. Tool selection for decommissioning work is crucial, and various cutting techniques, including abrasive water jetting, band saw and chop saw were used at North West Hutton, the hydraulic shear performed best. It was found that the shear crimped the pipeline and, in some cases, formed a seal that trapped water in the pipe, which caused some issues during transportation and disposal. Close-out process – lessons Jee was also contracted to write the OSPAR and the Decommissioning Programme Close-Out reports for North West Hutton to show how the project team had achieved the commitments made in the Decommissioning Programme and how the OSPAR permit conditions had been met. For a successful close-out process, it is vital that clear and concise records are kept throughout the duration of the project. This can be difficult as decommissioning projects include the plugging and abandonment activities. This can be done over the life of the field, which could be tens of years before decommissioning,

making records difficult to trace with many changes to personnel, codes and practices. One of the greatest successes during the North West Hutton close out was the Third Party Verification process for the subsea materials. Third Party Verification of the Decommissioning Programme was required at North West Hutton as it was the first installation to be decommissioned under OSPAR decision 98/3, which states that steel piled jacket installations weighing over 10,000 tonnes may be left in place. One of the OSPAR permit conditions was that third party verification be conducted on the project. For the subsea infrastructure, the project team developed a Material Recovery Manifest (MRM). This provided a method of tracking each item from its position subsea, to the point it was handed over to the waste disposal contractors. Each item was noted in a spreadsheet, which was a live document during the execution phase. When recovered, each item had a nametag attached and was photographed where possible. These nametag numbers were noted on the spreadsheet, which also had links to the item’s photograph. Once passed over to the waste disposal contractor, the relevant waste consignment note number was noted on the spreadsheet. Once complete, the spreadsheet was passed on to the Third Party Verifiers. This made the verification process effortless as it was clear to see the necessary items were removed.

to advance on best practice, and knowledge share will be hugely important. Lessons should be captured at all stages of a decommissioning project, formatted in a consistent way, collated and made available to all operators. Incentive to invest in techniques is also vital. Currently, due to inefficient techniques in pipeline decommissioning, a lot of pipelines are being left in-situ. This is because comparative assessments are scoring this option as the most technically feasible, safe, environmentally friendly due to the offshore effort, and cost efficient. However, the requirement by UK law is to leave a ‘clean seabed’ unless it can be justified otherwise. Engineering judgement should always be used when deciding the best method to decommission a pipeline, but unless decommissioning improvements are incentivised, a lot of money is going to be spent on leaving 45,000km of pipeline in-situ rather than remove them.

Conclusions Through successful decommissioning of North West Hutton, Jee found that there are lessons to be learned in decommissioning that can be shared throughout the industry. Collaboration is crucial in the sector, where there are many opportunities in the coming years 21


Aberdeen Harbour’s Strategic Focus on the Future Aberdeen Harbour’s strategic focus on the future belies its status as the oldest registered business in Britain. Vessel activity in the harbour grows year on year and plans are being progressed to accommodate increased future demand. The port authority had been exploring ways in which they could expand, thereby ensuring the harbour could continue to meet the anticipated future needs of its customers. In December 2012 the Board announced that they believed that the creation of additional harbour facilities at Nigg Bay was the best way to achieve this goal. Since then a £2 million site investigation has been carried out to assess the level of the bed rock and numerous other surveys commissioned for the area. The next phase is an environmental impact assessment during 2014.

The construction of 1,400 metres of additional berths, with a minimum draft of ten metres in Nigg Bay would be a real game changer for the future. In addition the development would also provide 150,000 metres of laydown area, heavy lift capabilities and fully serviced berths – all in close proximity to Aberdeen’s Supply Chain hub, but clear of the city centre and well connected by road. Delivery of the project would be a major contribution towards the Region’s ability to fully embrace opportunities presented by emerging workstreams such as the

decommissioning sector and, in doing so, fulfilling its potential as a major energy industry centre of excellence. In particular the new facilities would advance this aim by allowing Aberdeen to accommodate larger vessels such as those associated with subsea and the decommissioning industry. A new harbour in Nigg Bay could be operational in 5 to 10 years subject to a robust business case and all the required planning consents being achieved. For further information about Aberdeen Harbour please see

Realising Opportunities for All 27th May AECC | ABERDEEN

More information about the event as well as exhibitor and sponsorship opportunities can be found at

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Nuvia Receives Environment Agency Authorisation for its New NORM Facility Nuvia has been providing a safe, cost effective and reliable Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials (NORM) management service to the oil & gas industry for over 10 years from its site in Winfrith. The Business recently took the decision to upgrade its facilities and relocate to a new unit on the Piddlehinton Enterprise Park. The site has now been granted a new permit under the Environmental Permitting Regulations (EPR) for its operations and, through the environmentally

sound performance of its current processes, Nuvia has demonstrated that it can comply with all of the conditions specified by the Environment Agency. Nuvia has signed a long term lease at Piddlehinton and is planning to be operational

by April 2014, providing long term local employment and services to the UK onshore and offshore oil industry. 23


NORM Solutions Achieves ISO9001, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 International Management Standards NORM Solutions has successfully passed Lloyds Register Quality Assurance (LRQA) assessments for its Health and Safety, Environment and Quality management systems at its state-of-the-art Aberdeen facility, where equipment contaminated with naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) is descaled and treated. The facility is a multi-million pound joint venture between waste management provider Enviroco, part of international oilfield support services company ASCO Group, and international scrap metal and steel trading specialist John Lawrie Group. LRQA, who provide certification and validation to various international standards, conducted the assessments through a series of visits to NORM Solutions over last past few months. Following these visits, NORM Solutions

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was recommended for accreditation to the internationally recognised Health and Safety, Environment and Quality standards. Ray Grant, director for both NORM Solutions and John Lawrie Group, says that the accreditations are a reflection of the high quality of the systems put in place to manage operations on site, and of how far the company has come since officially opening for business just over a year ago. “Since receiving authorisation to handle

and dispose of radioactive waste from SEPA last year, we’ve continued to gain experience by completing a number of high profile jobs. The recent LRQA accreditations not only show us that the hard work of the site’s dedicated management team has paid off, but also adds another layer of re-assurance for our customers”.


Kishorn Yard Gets the “Thumbs Up” from The Highland Council Kishorn Port Ltd.’s (KPL) planning application for the redevelopment of the redundant oil fabrication yard at Kishorn was given the full support of The Highland Council at a recent Planning Committee meeting in Inverness. The way is now clear for KPL to market the Yard to the emerging renewables sector as a potential site for the manufacture and assembly of structures for the offshore wind, wave and tidal renewable energy industries. The planning process has taken almost three years to complete and has been part funded by Highlands and Island Enterprise (HIE). Commenting on the day’s events, Simon Russell, a Director of KPL said “This application, with its successful outcome, has been long in the gestation, and represents a significant step forward in the regeneration of a tremendous asset that has lain dormant for far too long” “In developing the application, we have taken full consideration of the responses from the local population, and there will be numerous conditions appended to the planning approval to underpin the environmental sensitivities of the site” Alasdair Ferguson, Director, added “We are attracting an increasing number of enquiries from fabricators/developers for the use of the site with its unique facilities including one of the largest dry docks in Western Europe and an on-site quarry. The deep waters of Loch Kishorn make it ideal for the manufacture of large concrete structures, and in particular foundations for off-shore wind turbines. KPL’s focus has been on delivering a “shovel ready” site to potential developers and this permission ensures that there should be no barriers to an early regeneration of the Yard” The Kishorn Yard was initially developed by Howard Doris in the 1970’s as a manufacturing base for concrete super structures for the North Sea oil industry. The Ninian Central Platform, weighing in at a massive 610,000tonnes was born at the Yard, which continued in operation until 1988. The dry dock was last used in the early ‘90’s for the casting of the two concrete caissons used to support the Skye Bridge. At its peak, the Yard employed over 3,000 personnel, and it is one of the ambitions of KPL to generate a new wave of employment in the area and lead a supply chain that will generate many opportunities for local businesses.

Masterplan Visual

Kishorn Port Ariel 25


Cutting Underwater Technologies Achieves 5000 Cuts

Updated Cost Model for Offshore and Onshore Decommissioning

Cutting Underwater Technologies is proud to announce the successful completion of more than 5000 cuts using Diamond Wire Technology. Our unrivalled global experience spanning more than 20 years’ includes involvement in the removal of 112 platforms and 163 pipeline, not to mention an array of other targets as diverse as multi-strings, chains, drill strings, risers, monopile’s, guideposts, pipes and shipwrecks!

We are pleased to bring to the market an updated cost model for offshore and onshore decommissioning that has already been used by a whole range of global O&G operators on more than 400 North Sea installations.

From our bases in Aberdeen, Stavanger, Houma, LA, Rio de Janeiro and Singapore, the CUT Group offers both “off the shelf” and “bespoke” diamond wire cutting solutions. In addition to our existing fleet of more than 180 diamond wire tools ranging from 5.5” to 150” cutting capacity CUT has regularly provide clients with bespoke solutions. On average, each year we develop 5 bespoke solutions for our clients. This can vary from modification to existing machines to the design and manufacture of brand new project specific tools. A service not readily available elsewhere in the supply chain Our diamond wire cutting machines are not constrained by water depth. They can be surface powered down to 200m either hydraulically or electrically driven. Below 200m, our deepest cut to date being 2,499m in the Gulf of Mexico, cutting machines would be ROV powered via “hot stabs” or 6m long umbilical. Every project is supported by CUT Group’s experienced and versatile operators. All CUT technicians undergo rigorous and on-going training on cutting, maintenance, testing and repair of the cutting equipment. Special emphasis is placed upon the environmental and safety aspects thus ensuring they are fully compliant with international and local regulations.

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Robust costing of offshore and onshore decommissioning works is both a regulatory requirement (for financial reserves) as well as key to successful financial planning and sound risk management. In collaboration with Eric Faulds Associates, D3 Offshore has now developed a suite of costing models for both offshore and onshore decommissioning which build on both Eric Faulds’ and D3’s more than 20 years’ experience of decommissioning. The cost models are ‘proven’ over the past two decades as well as benchmarked to major O&G operator’s own models and contractor studies. The estimates satisfy the requirement for independent assessment where required. The costings can be used within a risk management approach to manage the costs such that overruns and unexpected costs are minimised. Outputs from the models include detailed breakdowns of the costings, scenario building for optioneering on scope and risks and spend profiles for cashflow knowledge. The models can be used for individual assets or alternatively an operator’s entire portfolio can rapidly be estimated on a common set of assumptions and norms. Sensitivity checks using different assumptions can be carried out at the click of a button.


PDL Expand Into North America Decom North Sea member company, PDL Solutions (Europe) Limited, have established a presence in Houston to provide advanced engineering design and analysis support to the US-based engineering teams of their European oil & gas clients.


Over the years, we have established an excellent working relationship with our oil & gas clients based in the North East of England, Aberdeen and Norway and we have developed a robust and proven way of supporting those clients on predominantly a remote basis from our offices in Hexham. We are now being asked by a number of our international clients to provide the same level of high value support to their US-based engineering teams, which we’re delighted to do of course, but we feel we need to deliver the support to the US locations on a local incountry level; hence, we’ve established PDL Solutions (North America) LLC. Paul Charlton Partner, Construction PDL

Rob Campbell Vice President North America PDL Solutions (North America) LLC

PDL Solutions (North America) LLC is wholly owned by the European business. It is led by Rob Campbell who has been promoted to Vice President North America and it is based in the heart of the so-called “energy corridor” in Houston. Rob will report to the European managing director, Michael Williams. PDL, in consultation with their European clients, have developed a simple but effective delivery model for the Houston office, as Paul explains “For the first 12-18 months, we will second some of our existing engineers from Hexham into the Houston office. This will ensure that we deliver the same level of service to our US-based clients that we deliver to our European clients and that we have a consistent and robust approach to governance and the like. It also enables us to offer fantastic personal and professional development opportunities to all of our Hexham-based engineers.” The intention is to ultimately grow the US operation, over the course of the next 3 years, to a level where it will employ and sustain around 10 full time engineers.

It seems that expansion further afield is also in the planning too, as Paul continues “We believe in the simple premise that people do business with people and that strong relationships are a key differentiator to any business. We have high hopes for Houston and we are already looking to roll out a similar in-country business model to our client’s other main engineering centres in the likes of Kuala Lumpur too.” At the end of their last financial year on the 31st May 2013, PDL posted a 13th consecutive year of record growth and net profitability and it seems they are determined to continue that trend, albeit in a controlled manner, as Paul concludes “We have exceptional people who deliver exceptional work that our clients greatly appreciate and highly value. Over the past few years, we have grown by between 25-40% each year. That is an incredible achievement, but if we want to sustain that level of growth in the long term, we must continue to invest in and develop our business processes, procedures and people. In order to do that, we need to make the time and take the time to consolidate on our past success and prepare ourselves for the future. This financial year, we will do exactly that. The Houston move is only one visible part of the whole consolidation process and investment plan. There are a number of other initiatives underway which, whilst they may not be as visible as the Houston move, will prepare us equally well for our next phase of growth”. 27


Investment in Red7Marine Group Ltd Red7Marine Group Limited (“Red7Marine” or the “Group”) is pleased to announce an investment in the Group by Perwyn Limited (“Perwyn”), a private equity investor. The acquisition of an interest in the Group by Perwyn is concomitant with a substantial injection of new capital to enable Red7Marine to acquire additional assets to service its clients in the offshore renewables, and oil & gas markets. The transaction was supported by RBS and will also be enhanced by the provision of a further facility from a leading asset based lender. The total enterprise value of the transaction is c. £65 million. Red7Marine is a leading provider of offshore and inland marine support services to the oil & gas, offshore renewables and civil engineering industries. Headquartered in Wrabness, Essex and Great Yarmouth, Norfolk,

the Company operates from 8 locations across the UK providing specialist equipment, divers and engineers to construct and maintain critical energy related infrastructure assets, ranging from the largest offshore wind farms, to subsea oil & gas production and decommissioning. Martin Spurr, Group Chairman of Red7Marine commented: “We are delighted to have attracted investment from Perwyn who have recognised the market opportunities within the offshore energy and construction sectors and we are very excited to be able to accelerate Red7Marine’s growth plans through expansion of our specialist operated marine

plant and services divisions. We very much look forward to working with our new partners at Perwyn and to the exciting future ahead.” Andrew Wynn, Partner of Perwyn Ltd. commented: “We are delighted to be partnering with management to accelerate the growth of Red7Marine, an outstanding business with tremendous opportunity to build on its position in offshore renewable and oil & gas markets. We look forward to bringing Perwyn’s industry experience to bear as Red7Marine enters its next phase of development.”

ROMAR International Expands Business in Middle East with Representative Agreement Aberdeenshire-based oilfield service company ROMAR International has entered a two year agreement with STEP Oiltools to represent the company in the Middle East. This agreement follows on from a successful contract already in place with STEP Oiltools to promote ROMAR’s range of magnetic separation products in South East Asia which has seen the company’s sales increase by 95% in the region. As part of the contract, two successful jobs were recently completed in North West Australia and Brunei with a combined contract value of $1.2M (£750,000). ROMAR’s core business activities revolve around its innovative designs using magnetic separation technologies which provide valueadded solutions for its clients. The company has developed a range of products and services tailored to suit various demands and applications across the offshore oil and gas markets worldwide. ROMAR International Commercial Director

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Robbie Gray said: “Our agreement with STEP Oiltools in South East Asia has been exceptionally beneficial; it has increased our presence in the region and has supported the significant increase in sales in the past year. “Extending our agreement with our agent will enable us to penetrate the Middle East, where demand for our products, which remove swarf waste produced from down hole activities, is high and is a key part of our international business strategy moving forward.” ROMAR’s patented range of en-mass magnetic separation products are the only technologies of their kind currently available to the offshore oil and gas industry and underpin ROMAR’s position as the number one market leader in this sector.


Lucion Marine Provide Mobile Solutions for the North Sea Industry leaders of Maritime Hazard Management Lucion Marine have this year embarked on a practical solution to remove hazardous materials from vessels whilst in service. As part of a major pipework refit to a North Sea Vessel, early 2014 saw Lucion Marine carry out its first analytical works and consultation on the removal of hazardous materials onboard a ship whilst in service. The 6 week project included 26 of the Vessel’s technical team undergoing ‘Category B- Non-Licensed Asbestos Removal’ training onshore enabling the vessel’s own staff to safely remove equipment containing low risk hazardous materials whilst offshore. With the use of a UKAS accredited mobile analytical lab, an onboard Surveyor and a Bulk Analyst from Lucion were able to sample around 3000 gaskets potentially containing hazardous materials. Once the materials had been identified the vessels own maintenance team were then able to safely remove the hazardous materials themselves with the equipment provided by Lucion. Lucion Marine Director Phil Rozier said: “The use of our UKAS accredited mobile lab has enabled Lucion Marine to further improve its services to the offshore industry by introducing immediate testing onboard vessels. We ensure the safety of vessel staff every step of the way from providing training bespoke to environment in which they work through to the deployment of our own staff out at sea.”

Optimus Strengthens its Decommissioning Team and Widens Service Offering Aberdeen-based engineering consultancy Optimus have strengthened their decommissioning department over the past few months, adding new members to the existing team and building a bespoke liabilities calculation software package. “The decommissioning team has worked with a wide range of clients and assets since its inception three years ago. We are now putting our accumulated knowledge and experiences to good use,” said Managing Director Karl Green, “We understand what our clients need and we can hone our services to suit their requirements. We are constantly updating our services and tools to ensure that we evolve along with the industry.” One of those tools currently deployed is a liabilities calculation database which holds the liability estimate records of a variety of North Sea and international assets. This database, developed in-house and run under secure conditions, allows the Optimus team to easily calculate accurate, reliable and repeatable estimates. With the flexibility to adjust to changes in legislative guidelines, this tool can alleviate the impact that an inaccurate estimate can have on corporate balance sheets. Optimus is migrating their database technology to a web-based portal application which will allow clients to view and interrogate their estimates via high security gateways. This will especially appeal to small operators who need to have confidence in their estimates without making significant demands on their in-house resources. The new additions to the decommissioning team bring skills in structural engineering, decision analysis, option selection, subsea engineering, project management, commercial engineering and civil engineering. “We offer the full complement of decommissioning services, with the added advantage that we have a wealth of knowledge and experience to call upon from our other engineering departments when needed,” said Green. Optimus provides legislative awareness support, full decommissioning studies, international service provision and liability estimates. In addition, the team have recently provided decommissioning awareness training to a Chinese state operator and plan to offer more courses in the future. 29


Energy Institute Innovation Commendation for SDS Aberdeen based, Subsea Deployment Systems, received a commendation at this year’s Energy Institute’s Awards. This is a well-established competition, recognising the efforts of individuals and organisations in the global energy industry.

Award categories cover Environment, Safety, Communication, Community Initiative, as well as excellence in Innovation and Technology. SDS’s award was in the Innovation category for its alternative method for the installation/removal of large subsea structures. Arnbjorn Joensen, SDS Operations Director, commented that it was particularly pleasing for a small company such as SDS to receive the commendation given the global nature of the competition. The Subsea Deployment System (SDS) is a low cost alternative to a conventional lifted installation/

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removal that meets or exceeds the weight and depth capacities of existing vessels. It is largely insensitive to weather resulting in lower dynamics increased operating windows and greater schedule flexibility. The technology behind the individual aspects of the SDS is well proven and based on simple engineering principles but the combination provides a uniquely simple solution to an increasing problem. The system has been proposed by independent bodies for the installation of structures and decommissioning of towheads/structures/debris. A major oil company has also stated that they consider it as a proven concept offering significant cost savings and another has asked that SDS align with one of their existing suppliers with a view to bringing it to market. However, conservatism within the industry has resulted in the typical “race to be second” and consequently the system is still at the concept stage. SDS is actively seeking a partner who can assist in taking this exciting innovation to market.


Sabre Safety New ATEX-Approved, Completely Self-Contained Zone 1 Breathing Air Compressor Developed by Sabre Safety of Aberdeen – Cupar – Stavanger Zone 1 breathing air compressor. Specially designed by Sabre’s own in-house gas safety team in Aberdeen, it is built for the harshest of conditions in the onshore/offshore and petrochemical market.

Are you in the Zone? Gas safety is always paramount, and gas technology should never stand still. That’s why Sabre Safety, the global specialist safety and gas services company, has developed its ATEX-approved, completely self-contained

Delivering safety and efficiency The Sabre Safety Zone 1 compressor improves safety and efficiency by containing all operations within Zone 1 - removing risks arising in other zones. Equipment designed in the oilfield for the oilfield It makes complex work much easier as it is ‘plug in and go’: there is no need to set anything up, and there’s no need to monitor the ductwork either. This means that the standby

operator at the compressor can concentrate solely on the air delivery and looking after people working at the work site – that way everyone’s focus is on the task at hand. Bringing everything together The Sabre Safety Zone 1 compressor comes with pre-use inspection and user training at the customer’s location – whether onshore or offshore. 24/7 support is available from Aberdeen to provide users with complete backup at all times. Better still, the equipment can be serviced either on location or at Sabre’s own SQA-accredited operations centre in Aberdeen. 31


Sureclean Wins Decommissioning Contract Industrial cleaning contractor Sureclean is reaping the rewards following a successful and profitable year of project wins in 2013. Moving ahead into 2014, Sureclean is on track to continue this success and has secured a 3 year contract with Aker Solutions to provide offshore cleaning and waste management services in support of the first phase of decommissioning CNR International’s Murchison Platform. Sureclean is an international industrial cleaning and waste management contractor who has gained previous experience working on various topside and subsea decommissioning projects. Their portfolio of services includes water jetting and associated applications, tank cleaning and mobile waste treatment solutions all of which are essential during the engineering down phase of a decommissioning project. Managing Director, John Barron, commented “Decommissioning activity in the North Sea is increasing and creating a number of opportunities throughout the supply chain. Securing this work has been of strategic importance to Sureclean and we look forward to working with Aker Solutions on this project. “2013 was a year of growth for the Company, delivering record breaking sales and this contract win has been a fantastic start to 2014 for us. Sureclean continually invests in our people and our equipment to ensure we have the resources to meet client requirements, as well as future demand within our global industry. With continuous development in our Company we are confident we will secure similar projects in the future.” Sureclean was founded in 1985 and employs in excess of 130 people. It has operational facilities in the UK and Egypt and provides support and solutions to the oil and gas industry worldwide. www.

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Simon Storage Expands Waste Handling Capability for North Sea Markets Simon Storage has announced new waste storage and handling capabilities at its Immingham terminal complex on the south bank of the River Humber. Having recently been granted an Environmental Permitting Regulations (EPR) Part A permit for the handling of hazardous and non-hazardous bulk liquid wastes, Immingham now holds the necessary Radioactive Substance Regulations (RSR) permits to handle NORM products, Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material, typically originating from the North Sea. Simon Storage has a long history of handling bulk liquid wastes under permit at its East Coast terminals at Seal Sands on Teesside and at Velva Liquids on Tyneside. Now that Immingham is also licensed to store and handle NORM products, Simon’s strategically located facilities can offer companies a comprehensive range of storage solutions and disposal routes for hazardous wastes. These include NORM contaminated liquid wastes from offshore oil and gas installations, including NORM waste streams emerging from the North Sea decommissioning programme, to chemical wastes and recovered product from a wide range of industrial processes and activities, including such products as mono ethylene glycol as well as drilling fluids. Paul Oseland, Commercial Director, says: “Simon is taking a proactive approach to fast-developing environmental and commercial trends in the waste storage and recycling sector. With the capacity, approvals and expertise to store many types of liquid waste streams as well as recovered product, our East Coast terminals are among the leading waste handling facilities in the UK.” Details of the services offered by Simon Storage can be found at


Aubin Expands its Services with Integrity Management Expertise Offshore materials technology and engineering specialist Aubin Group has launched new integrity management and subsea divisions, Aubin Integrity and Aubin Subsea, in response to demand from the oil and gas industry. The Aubin Integrity division will provide ground-breaking solutions to urgent challenges facing operators of aging offshore infrastructure both in the UKCS and internationally as well as permanent fixes. Aubin Integrity recently helped resolve one operator’s major integrity issue in the leg of a North Sea platform through development of its AXI-Lokk P technology to create an internal pipework sealant on an asset in record time enabling repair intervention following a serious breach in integrity. The integrity division also worked with

another operator to seal a breach in the external sheath of a riser in West Africa in an operation using a diver to apply the AXI-Cast sealant. In both cases, Aubin Integrity has devised solutions within days and, in the North Sea case, also secured regulatory approval. Paddy Collins, CEO of Aubin, said: “Many of the assets in the North Sea were built to last 25 years and are still producing well beyond their original lifespans. This inevitably brings with it integrity issues. Our range of products can provide quick and easy to deploy, temporary or permanent fixes if there is a leak in flexible (and

rigid) pipework by creating a seal around or within a breach. Aubin is advancing its line of integrity products, including AXI-Cast, which can be utilised in subsea repairs, along with AXI-Lokk and AXI-Gard, which are used for corrosion mitigation and plugging. The range of integrity products has been designed to work at temperatures up to 120°C with tailored specific gravity and viscosity selection to suit breach location.

Collaboration World class science and forecasting expertise to meet the challenges of decommissioning Contact us at our Marine Centre of Excellence in Aberdeen 01224 629831

13/0675 33


Safe Emergency Offshore Inspections in Extreme Weather Sky-Futures received a call on 18 December 2013 to deploy an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) inspection team for an emergency offshore inspection. The team landed offshore within 24 hours of the call. Recent storms had damaged the access hatch on a flare tower. Unable to get good imagery and with the continuing high winds and poor weather the loose hatch was a potential dropped object risk to workers and the platform below. The UAV inspection took place following a re-authorised risk assessment onsite to allow the UAV inspection team to fly above normal wind limits as the inspection of the hatch was

of the highest priority. There were very few weather windows and sustained gusts of wind up to 80 km/h (43 knots). During a lull in the weather, the winds dropped to 51 km/h (28 knots). This gave the UAV inspection team the opportunity to conduct a number of flights and inspect the condition of the loose access hatch. The imagery gathered during the flights, despite the 28 knots of wind, enabled the OIE and OIM to make the decision to shutdown

Top view of the Hatch from Sky-Futures UAV team flying in 28 knots of wind.

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the platform due to major safety and falling object considerations. Had the UAV inspection not taken place, no assessment of the hatch would have been achieved until the wind had dropped significantly to climbing limits. This is a great example of how Sky-Futures UAV technology can support cold and older platforms pre and during decommissioning increasing safety for offshore personnel.

Using advanced flying the Sky-Futures emergency inspection team also captured shots of the hatch from other angles including below.


EOT Cutting Services – Demonstration and Lunch ‘N’ Learn EOT Cutting Services, a TETRA company, held a two day event in late November featuring diamond wire cutting demonstrations and a display of innovative machining solutions for both topside and subsea decommissioning. The demonstration was co-hosted with REEF Subsea and held at their Subsea Dredging & Excavation facility in Altens. The event attracted approximately 80 attendees over the two days, including representatives from operators and tier one service providers. EOT Cutting Services now has a range of diamond wire and mechanical cutting equipment located in Dyce, Aberdeen ready for offshore mobilisation. TETRA and EOT Cutting Services will be relocating to a purpose built facility in Aberdeen Gateway Business Park in 2014. The new location

represents a considerable investment and commitment from TETRA and EOT Cutting Services to work in the North Sea and Europe, and demonstrates the companies’ commitment to supporting operators in responding to developing decommissioning requirements. With more than 15,000 successful cuts completed to date, EOT Cutting Services has been providing customized and comprehensive cutting solutions to the oil and gas industry since 2006. EOT’s ability to design and fabricate

standard and customized equipment, as well as manage a variety of cutting solutions, has enabled EOT to develop valuable expertise for cutting a broad array of structures—both topside and subsea. The Offshore Division of TETRA Technologies, Inc., including EOT Cutting Services, is ISO 9001:2008 certified and FPAL registered. 35


New Shetland Offshore Decommissioning Project Awarded to Veolia Veolia to recycle 98% of the materials. Veolia Environmental Services in partnership with Peterson has been awarded a major North Sea decommissioning project. The contract with BP is to dismantle and recycle subsea equipment associated with the Schiehallion and Loyal fields located in the West of Shetland region as part of the Quad204 major project to redevelop the fields. The project will manage over 11,500 tonnes of offshore subsea materials which will be recycled at Veolia’s decommissioning facility in Lerwick, Shetland. The project will take 14 months to complete and will recycle up to 98% of the materials. The initial team of 15 members of staff will load-in and start dismantling a range

of subsea equipment, mainly flexible pipelines, structures and the FPSO mooring systems that are located on the seabed that formed the infrastructure of the oilfield. David Lusher, Executive Director for Veolia Environmental Services said: “The UK North Sea decommissioning market offers considerable opportunities and we estimate that is worth around £1 billion a year. We are delighted to be extending our decommissioning capabilities for BP to help them recycle this valuable resource.” Andrew Train, Offshore Programme

Director for BP’s re-development of the Schiehallion and Loyal fields, said “It is always pleasing to be able to utilise local expertise when it is available. We look forward to working with Veolia to deliver this part of the project and to achieving the high recycling targets that are possible”. Veolia has previous experience in decommissioning following in 2011 when it decommissioned seven gas rigs at Swan Hunter Shipyard on the River Tyne.

Decommissioning Solutions In choosing Aker Solutions, you will have a partner with proven capability and unrivalled decommissioning experience in the North Sea. We offer tailor made decommissioning and removal solutions, including: < < < < < <

Feasibility and concept studies FEED and detailed design activities Cost estimating and planning Engineering down and cleaning Removal and recycling or disposal of materials and equipment Management of hazardous material

Aker Solutions Howe Moss Avenue Kirkhill Industrial Estate Dyce Aberdeen AB21 0GP Tel: +44 (0) 1224 750000 Fax: +44 (0) 1224 750005 E-mail:

36 Decom News: Issue 15


Allseas To Build a Single-Lift Vessel Larger Than Pieter Schelte Swiss-based Allseas has decided to build a second single-lift platform installation and decommissioning vessel.

The new vessel, larger than Pieter Schelte, can remove all platform topsides in the North Sea which are beyond the capability of Pieter Schelte. Besides decommissioning, the vessel is designed for worldwide installation of very large topsides. The topsides lift capacity will

be 72,000 metric tons, exceeding the capacity of Allseasâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Pieter Schelte by 50%. The vessel will have a width of 160 m (525 ft), whereas Pieter Schelte is 124 m (406 ft) wide. She will be operational in 2020.

Cooper Lomaz Providing Specialist Decommissioning Team Members Cooper Lomaz has recently provided the specialist decommissioning team at Perenco with an experienced Cementing Engineer.

The decommissioning team was a group of well engineers tasked with consulting and planning the different ways in which the companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Southern North Sea assets could be decommissioned. With almost 30 years of offshore experience our contractor was instrumental in the successful delivery of this phase of the project, something that would have been very difficult to achieve without the instant effect of contract personnel. Dan Benson (pictured) at Cooper Lomaz is adept at finding innovative solutions to specific problems and will be delighted to discuss your decommissioning requirements. 37


New Members We are pleased to welcome the following new members:

New Members of Decom North Sea, ABB Look Forward to Working Collaboratively

ABB Aggreko UK Ltd Anatec Great Yarmouth Port Company Ltd T/as Eastport UK

ABB are pleased to become members of Decom North Sea, and look forward to working collaboratively in tackling the many challenges facing the oil and gas industry today.

Imenco Individual - Felicity Arthur ITS Testing Services UK Ltd (Intertek Aberdeen) LBO – Linjebygg Offshore Norsea Group (UK) Ltd Pastoor Offshore SPD Ltd Sureclean Limited Full membership of Decom North Sea is open to any commercial organisation involved with decommissioning. Associate membership is open to non-commercial organisations and individuals who wish to be kept informed of Decom North Sea activity and attend networking events and conferences. For further information visit

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Decommissioning is a large complex project involving a number of specialist contractors, each with many different challenges; each phase of decommissioning requires meticulous planning and management whilst maintaining the highest safety and environmental standards. ABB have a wealth of experience and knowledge when it comes to planning and managing the decommissioning and demolition process, having completed over £250million of projects for blue chip petrochemical, chemical, oil and gas clients worldwide. Important principles to ABB and our customers include safety, risk management, operational excellence, reputation and sustainability. ABB have managed some of the largest decommissioning and demolition projects, managing specialist contractors, ensuring delivery of projects to programme and budget, whilst maintaining the highest safety and environmental standards, protecting our clients’ reputation and offering a total asset closure solution. For more than 20 years, ABB’s consulting team has worked closely with Oil & Gas companies worldwide to provide innovative solutions and services that meet the strictest requirements in these areas. Our approach to decommissioning delivers enhanced recovery of asset values, transformation of stranded assets to profit sources, alongside confidence in the safe and cost effective execution of decommissioning and demolition projects. We also have considerable experience of extending the

effective operating life of offshore platforms and linking through to effective late life operation. This provides a good basis for integrating decommissioning plans into asset plans. We have a world class safety record and have been awarded 9 RoSPA (including 6 Golds) awards on one project working for a major oil company. ABB Consulting has a worldwide reputation as a leader in process safety, integrity management and related services. We provide technical consulting and engineering services to improve performance in the areas of compliance, operations and engineering to customers in the chemical, petrochemical, oil & gas, power, pharmaceutical, and other process industries worldwide. ABB is a leader in power and automation technologies that enable utility and industry customers to improve performance while lowering environmental impact. The ABB Group of companies, which operate in around 100 countries worldwide and employ about 145,000 people, have recently been ranked in the top 15 companies in the world by business week.


Temporary Power & Temperature Control Solutions for the Offshore Decommissioning Industry Aggreko is the world’s leading supplier of interim power and temperature control solutions. With over 50 years’ experience and global operations spanning more than 100 countries, our customers rely on us to ensure their operations run smoothly and efficiently wherever they are located in the world. Our fast-track, turn-key rental power and temperature control solutions include: • Power packages ranging from 15 kVA up to multi-megawatt installations • Variable fuel sources with gas, diesel and HFO powered generators • Resistive & Reactive Loadbanks ranging from 600 kVA to 6000 kVA • A complete range of ancillary items to ensure a seamless power solution • Full remote control and monitoring of power installations • A complete range of industrial quality air

and fluid chillers, heaters, dehumidifiers and cooling towers Aggreko’s rental solutions are tailor made to fit each individual project requirement. Our services include: • DNV 2.7.1 containerised and crash framed generators and transformers • NORSOC Z-015 technical and safety related temporary equipment • Full offshore documentation packages for all projects • Dedicated offshore support for watchkeeping

and servicing • Full engineering support from initial concept to final commissioning With an international network of 194 service centres Aggreko is always close at hand with both the fleet and highly experienced engineers and technicians to support our customers 24/7, 365. Aggreko is able to offer fast and reliable temporary power and temperature control solutions that conform to the highest HSE standards. 39


Growth Through NPD Imenco is a privately owned Norwegian EPC contractor to the global maritime sector. For over 30 years Imenco has provided Mechanical and Electronic equipment along with Bespoke Engineering Solutions to major oil, subsea and drilling companies worldwide. The UK office has successfully grown over the four years since opening in Aberdeen. Additional investment in the company is set to raise its profile and expand it further by developing opportunities in new markets where Imenco’s experience, skills and world class products can be utilised. Imenco’s products include: • Complete Subsea Guiding Systems • ROV Operated Shackles • ROV Operated Latches • Subsea Lifting and Load Transfer Hooks • Subsea Cameras, Lights, Lasers and Data

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Acquisition • Saturation Dive Systems • Aviation Fuelling Systems • Retrofit Anode Systems Investment will include new staff appointments in 2014 to complement growth in existing market activities along with a targeted drive into UK North Sea Decommissioning where there is direct product relevance as equipment is lifted, cut, and removed; Nuclear New Build and Nuclear Decommissioning activity in the UK; Sub-contracting into the UK Defence sector; and expansion into the Middle East Oil and Gas

market and Defence sectors through Imenco’s agent Indepth International Ltd. There are at least seven mechanical and five electronic new product launches due before the autumn of 2014 including what customers are describing as the ‘game changing’ SMART data acquisition technology that will allow multiple pieces of subsea equipment to simultaneously communicate topside. New mechanical products are under final test as this article goes to press.


Linjebygg Offshore AS (LBO) – Cutting & Removal in Areas of Difficult Access Quite new to Aberdeen – but already a Decom North Sea member! With close to 500 employees in Norway (250 multi skilled offshore staff and a 55 strong engineering team in Trondheim and Molde HQ) LBO is expanding into the UK North Sea. LBO’s history started as early as 1933 with power transmission line building through the Norwegian forests and across the fjords – hence the name Linjebygg (Linje=line and bygg=build). The core skill sets of working in areas difficult to access, without the support of any cranes or lifting machinery, were the skills and experience that LBO took offshore in the early 1990’s. Today, LBO has a solid track record offshore Norway, holding major contracts with

Statoil, ConocoPhillips, Aibel and Aker Solutions. LBO’s HSE-record is among the best in class, and so is customer satisfaction. Dismantling of flare tips and drilling derricks at height, or removal of equipment in the splash zone or subsea, i.e. platform jacket infrastructure such as riser guards or boat bumpers or boat landings, are typical LBO-projects. In addition to the core skill sets, LBO has recently developed specialist diamond wire cutting equipment

ATEX diamond wire cutting of exhaust stacks on Eldfisk Ester, 2013. Notice the small (yellow) HPU.

which is ATEX certified for Zone 1 areas. This cutting equipment, an industry first, is equally at home for decommissioning operations, whether cutting in the splash zone or operating on topsides process equipment.

Boat landing removal on Shell “Brent Alpha” in 2011, using LBO’s special subsea diamond wire saw. 41


New Inspection Technique is Bringing Benefits to Production and Decommissioning Operations at Oil & Gas Facilities At Oil & Gas production facilities all over the world, maximising uptime and improving safety are matters of paramount importance. Many traditional asset inspection techniques provide valuable information to assess asset conditions but require facilities to be shutdown and expose personnel to the risks of working at height. A new method of inspecting live and difficult to access assets has been pioneered by Scottish inspection company Cyberhawk Innovations. Cyberhawk provides a service that allows certain inspection tasks to be performed more quickly, safely and costeffectively than traditional methods. The method combines Remotely Operated Aerial Vehicles (ROAVs), highly skilled pilots and engineers to carry out close visual and thermal inspections of live assets that are “at height”, or difficult to access. This innovative approach has become established in the petrochemical industry and Cyberhawk has completed in excess of 5,000 flights at Oil & Gas and LNG facilities across the world – from Northern Europe to the Middle East, and from the South China Sea to the North Sea. Applications of ROAV technology for decommissioning projects Against a backdrop of pressing financial and safety issues, Cyberhawk’s technology enables decommissioning to be done as quickly, cost-effectively and safely as possible. The use of ROAVs in decommissioning enables clients to rapidly collect accurate inspection information that aids decommissioning planning at all stages of the project. As well as validation of the initial work scope, this can include decommissioning progress assessment. Cyberhawk’s inspection engineers provide comprehensive condition assessment of the structures being inspected, including highlighting any differences between technical drawings and the “as built” condition. This enables decommissioning project leaders to avoid any “surprises” when the project starts. Using ROAVs to capture the progress of each stage of the decommissioning

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provides valuable data throughout the project life and enables clear and unambiguous communication between the relevant parties, both offshore and on the beach. These benefits are in addition to dramatically reducing overall health and safety risk through a shorter project duration and a safer methodology than traditional approaches such as scaffolding or rope access. The reduction in health and safety risk is especially relevant in decommissioning projects where assets tend to be more aged and in worse conditions. ‘Traditional’ inspection access methods Traditional methods of accessing assets include rope access and scaffolding. Both approaches involve ‘working at height’ and, in the case of live assets, facilities require to be shut down. Rope access can be timeconsuming, both in terms of crew setup and inspection duration. Scaffolding can be an expensive option and may take weeks to erect. A third inspection technique that is sometimes used to inspect live flares at offshore oil and gas platforms is full-size helicopters. Again there are significant costs involved. A full-size helicopter inspection renders many safety-critical parts of a flare structure ‘uninspectable’. For example, this may include the underside of the flare deck, access ladders and flare boom. The ROAV inspection method offers operators a safe and comprehensive alternative to traditional approaches and brings a range of benefits. ROAV technology and applications The miniature flying vehicles or ROAVs use high-definition video and high-definition still and thermal cameras to provide detailed information for inspection purposes.

Cyberhawk’s battery-powered ROAVs weigh less than 2 kg and are less than 1m in length. They can be up in the air in a matter of minutes and results generated from the inspections can be available in hours – as opposed to many days using ‘traditional’ rope or scaffolding access methods. The ROAVs are operated by a highly trained, two-man crew which comprises a pilot and a qualified inspection engineer. A two-man crew is critical for safe industrial inspection using ROAVs: with the pilot’s attention focused solely on the operation of the ROAV, the inspection engineer is able to concentrate on controlling the camera payload. This ensures that the ROAV team is able to capture Close Visual Inspection (CVI) images and produce a comprehensive and authoritative technical inspection that enables asset owners to make informed engineering decisions. With an experienced and qualified (typically ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers) and CSWIP (Certification Scheme for Welding and Inspection Personnel)) inspection engineer on every assignment and the presentation of an interim report before leaving the site, the customer is able to have a timely, peer-to-peer discussion about the condition of their asset. Demonstration of measurable cost savings in decommissioning In 2012, and working with asset management company Stork Technical Services, Cyberhawk carried out a structural and coating inspection of an offshore drilling derrick for Shell U.K Limited on the company’s Brent Delta platform. This was the world’s first inspection on an offshore installation by ROAV and it represented a revolutionary model for future offshore inspections across the globe.


Stork challenged the remaining fabric maintenance scope on the asset as the platform was in planning for decommissioning. Cyberhawk’s ROAV captured HD images and relayed them live allowing for a full assessment of the structure and coating condition of the operational drilling derrick. The inspection involved accessing areas that would have been particularly challenging and time-consuming for traditional rope or scaffold inspections. The inspection was delivered during live drilling operations and there was no requirement for a costly shutdown, which would have cost an estimated £80,000 - £100,000 per day. The results from the visual inspection allowed Stork to challenge the initial workscope and reduce the quantity of the surface area to be treated by 42%. In addition, the results allowed Stork to introduce a wax oil preservative coating to treat the drill derrick, which delivered with a further saving of 1,725 man hours. The wax oil coating workscope could be delivered in a 14 day period compared with six weeks for conventional paint treatments. This allowed the work to be carried out during a planned pause in drilling, rather than during a lengthy shutdown, giving an overall project saving of £4.6 million which would not have been achieved without the data gathered and engineering expertise supplied by the Stork and Cyberhawk team. The quantifiable results of this work led to Cyberhawk and Stork Technical Services winning the Business Efficiency category of the Oil and Gas UK Awards 2012. To boldly go beyond GPS environments… Work on the drilling derrick on the Brent Delta was followed by a contract to carry out a full dropped objects sweep and underdeck structural inspection on the platform. Once again, the methodology was employed to save time and money. In fact the inspection took a total of four days to complete and covered the entire underdeck, including the concrete legs, transition pieces between the topside structure and the legs, and external caissons.

Cyberhawk’s ROAV is multi-bladed and can be positioned with great accuracy, and its state-of-the-art GPS positioning technology means that the exact image can be accurately repeated (if necessary). Although ROAVs have certain automated features, safely piloting the ROAV in an industrial setting requires a high degree of pilot training and ability. These elements are required to enable them to position the ROAV, accurately and consistently, close to the asset and to ensure that they can respond safely to unexpected events, from a gust of wind to signal interference. Cyberhawk refer to this as the ability to fly in full ‘manual’ mode and this is a cornerstone of its pilot training regime. Working on the Brent Delta underdeck inspection involved operating in a totally GPSdenied environment, which meant complete reliance on pilot skills in the most challenging conditions. The inspection was carried out by a two-man team that comprised an inspection engineer with 10 years offshore inspection experience and an ROAV pilot with 500+ hours of operating ROAVs in an oil and gas inspection environment. Working from a cradle positioned just below the underdeck, the Cyberhawk team used all their experience to make a full assessment of the asset condition. The ROAV inspection proved to be a highly attractive alternative to an approximately 3 month scaffold workscope or 3 to 4 weeks of rope access work overside. Conclusion Cyberhawk’s ROAV inspection method is now becoming established as best practice for inspections of hard-to-reach assets all over the world. Over 200 flares alone have been inspected by Cyberhawk in the UK, mainland Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Like the ROAVs themselves, the compelling proposition of improved safety, operational efficiency and higher quality of engineering data is now reaching more places than ever before. 43


How Could Your Decommissioning Programme be Affected by the Transfrontier Shipment of Waste Regulations 2007 and Regulations Relating to NORM? Decommissioning in the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS) is becoming a major part of the industry and is an integral component of the life cycle costs of any field or asset. In this article we have considered the implications of two key sets of environmental regulations that will have direct cost and regulatory compliance implications for any decommissioning project â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the Transfrontier Shipment of Waste Regulations 2007 and the regulation of naturally occurring radioactive materials (NORM) wastes.

Georgie Messent Partner Bond Dickinson

Claire Brook Partner Bond Dickinson

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Types of waste generated by Decommissioning Decommissioning of installations and pipelines typically gives rise to substantial tonnages of waste. As installations are made up of a number of different materials, the process of identifying them all and ensuring the correct waste management procedures are adopted during decommissioning can be both challenging and time consuming. Structures that are being decommissioned now were not designed to be removed and dismantled and may well have been modified and/or have deteriorated. This can give rise to even greater environmental challenges in the harsh environment in which such projects take place. In addition, naturally occurring radioactive materials (NORM) in the earthâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s crust are brought onto installations as a by-product scale which occurs throughout the oil and gas exploration and production processes and any NORM waste residues must be dealt with appropriately. The regulatorsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; approach to managing waste arising from decommissioning projects is to follow the Waste Hierarchy of reuse, recovery, recycling and onshore disposal (in that order of preference) and this must be properly

considered and demonstrated to be met when preparing a decommissioning programme. Looking at topsides, the types of waste generated on decommissioning can include on-board bulk hydrocarbons that could be flushed offshore and residues removed offshore under an appropriate permit, other bulk liquids that may be removed from vessels and transported ashore, other hazardous materials, original paint coatings, asbestos and ceramic fibre. In contrast, substructures are predominantly made of either steel pile jackets or concrete gravity based structures which could potentially fall within the derogations from OSPAR Decision 98/3 if they are more than 10,000 tonnes and if the internationally agreed assessment and consultation process shows that leaving them in place is justifiable Alternatively, partial or full jacket removal will need to be assessed as an option. Other wastes include wellhead, protection frames and space frames that may be returned to shore for reuse or recycling, drill cuttings piles that could be located within jacket footings and potentially left in situ to degrade naturally, oilfield related debris, and pipelines and associated subsea equipment that could be returned to shore for recycling, recovery or disposal. Transfrontier Shipment of Waste Movements of waste from the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS) to other Member States and Non-Member States are deemed to be transboundary movements of waste and therefore subject to transfrontier shipment of waste regulations.


The way the system works in the EU is that unless wastes are exempt from the scope of Council Regulation No 1013/2006/EC on the shipment of waste (the Waste Shipments Regulation), most movements for disposal, as opposed to recovery, would be prohibited. In limited cases where waste can be sent for disposal, there are still notification requirements to be complied with. If the waste is to be recovered, the procedures to be followed will depend on the classification of waste being dealt with. While wastes generated by the normal operation of oil platforms may be exempt from the scope of the WSR, wastes from decommissioning of installations are not. As a result, any transboundary shipment of waste during decommissioning for recovery operations which is not exempt from the scope of WSR, could be classified as a shipment of unlisted waste. Unlisted waste shipments require prior written notification to, and the written consent of, the competent authorities involved in the shipment. Failure to do so is likely to give rise to enforcement action and bring criminal penalties for the operator concerned. Enforcement of the Waste Shipment Regulation in the UK is carried out under the Transfrontier Shipment of Waste Regulations 2007 (2007 Regulations) that are enforced by the Environment Agency (England and Wales), SEPA (Scotland) and NI Environment Agency (Northern Ireland). As with any other shipment of waste, waste from the decommissioning of installations must still comply with the requirements for notification, movement documents, packaging, labelling and transport of shipments. As recommended in the DECC Guidance , operators planning to carry out decommissioning or an associated activity involving waste generated on offshore platforms should contact the relevant Agency for advice. Given the highly specialised nature of waste shipment controls, an important consideration in any decommissioning project will be whether there is a need for transboundary movements of the waste. Proposed changes to the 2007 Regulations In light of recent prosecutions and to specifically address offshore decommissioning requirements, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has recently proposed changes to tighten controls on transfrontier shipment of waste in the form of the draft Transfrontier Shipment of Waste (Amendment) Regulations 2013. Although these Regulations were due to be brought into force in summer 2013, they are

yet to be published. The key proposals that will be relevant to offshore installations are as follows: • Redefinition of the UK marine area so that each territorial competent authority is allocated an area of responsibility; • Separately defining ‘offshore installations’; • For installations outside the UK marine area, the 2007 Regulations provide that the Secretary of State, as the competent authority, needs to give written consent for waste from such installations to be brought into the UK. Under the proposed changes the Environmental Agency or the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) will become the competent authority which should make the consent process simpler. If the consultation proposals are adopted, the Government may also authorise the border force to stop and detain suspect containers for up to five working days if there is cause for suspicion. Consequently, it would be wise for oil and gas companies to ensure relevant authorisations are in place prior to any transboundary shipments of decommissioning waste. NORM and Disused Sources Handling NORM wastes as part of the overall decommissioning project needs to be considered carefully in the context of the regulatory requirements. Council Directive 2006/117/Euratom, transposed by the Transfrontier Shipment of Radioactive Waste and Spent Fuel Regulations 2008, excludes NORM wastes and the shipment of disused sources to authorised storage facilities. Therefore transfer of such material does not require authorisation under these particular regulations. During the decommissioning process a best practical environmental option (BPEO) assessment must be carried out to identify the best option for removal of liquid and NORM wastes. Decommissioning of NORM waste involves NORM wastes being sent to specific treatment facilities that will deal with its storage, treatment and/or disposal. Operators must ensure that sites they are sending NORM wastes to are appropriately ‘permitted’ for its storage, treatment and disposal; otherwise they could be in breach of obligations under the duty of care for waste set out in Section 34 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990. To take an example, in the Murchison Field Decommissioning Programme - Consultation Draft Programme dated May 2013, it was suggested that NORM wastes will be partially removed offshore under an appropriate permit

and onshore disposal arrangements will be made in accordance with the operator’s own set of procedures (CNRI’s Management of Norm Procedure SHE-PRO-315). In terms of the management of NORM wastes, the relevant legislation is the Radioactive Substances Act 1993 (as amended) (RSA 1993) in Scotland and Northern Ireland and the Radioactive Substances Exemption (Scotland) Order 2011 and Radioactive Substances Exemption (Northern Ireland) Order 2011. In England and Wales, it is Schedule 23 of the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2010 (as amended). We have referred to them here as Radioactive Substance Regulations (RSR). The RSR set out whether NORM wastes are ‘out of scope’, exempt or require a permit for their treatment and /or disposal. ‘Out of Scope’ means the levels of concentrations of NORM in the waste are very low and as such the RSR does not apply to them. Above the ‘out of scope‘ levels, regulation under RSR is required. Either the levels are sufficiently low for the waste to be considered ‘exempt’ so that no permit is required provided certain conditions are met or they are above a certain threshold and a permit will be required. The exemption regime under RSR was tightened in 2011 increasing the exemption thresholds meaning a greater volume of NORM is caught by the legislation. Although the 2011 changes were intended to simplify the procedures, it is still recommended that operators seek the advice and support of specialists such as Radioactive Waste Advisors, which is a requirement where an operator has a RSR Permit. The EA, SEPA and NIEA have also issued some joint guidance to assist operators on how to comply with the regime. Oil and gas companies disposing of NORM wastes need to be aware that whilst the NORM waste exemptions exist, the RSR regime still contains certain requirements for operators, which were summarised in Mark Lyons’ article in Decom News: Issue 13. Conclusion It is important not to underestimate the complex requirements of waste management law when developing a decommissioning programme. In order to achieve compliance, it will be necessary to allow sufficient time to consider not only the wastes involved and the most appropriate environmental options for dealing with them, but also the process for obtaining any necessary permits and consents from the competent authorities. 45


Steps to Increase Recovery Value for Decommissioned Oil & Gas Industry Assets Investment Recovery (often referred to by practitioners as “IR”) is the practice of recouping the value of assets no longer needed by a company by identifying and reusing or disposing of surplus assets. {Source, Investment Recovery Association}.

Author Bio Chad Farrell is the Vice President of Strategic Business Development at Liquidity Services, Inc., where he provides expertise to the top companies in the energy sector on asset management and investment recovery. Over the course of his career in the energy industry, he has designed, managed, and executed over 20,000 online transactions for surplus energy equipment. Mr. Farrell has a Bachelor’s of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Texas A&M University and an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin. You can find more information about Liquidity Services, Inc. at

46 Decom News: Issue 15

Proven across dozens of industries and organizations within the Global 1000, the application of well-established investment recovery techniques can be leveraged and customized to increase the recovery value of decommissioned oil and gas facilities and assets. There are typically three primary methods that an oil & gas company can implement to increase recovery values: redeployment, resale, or recycling of assets. By taking a comprehensive look at the project and balancing the difficulty of site removal with potential recovery value and redeployment possibilities, your organization can make an informed decision on the best method(s) to utilize for the project. By following these best practices, your organization can maximize the overall value received (either through cost reduction or cash generated) for your surplus and decommissioned assets. Redeployment in a Smarter Investment Recovery Process First, an operator should determine if the idle or surplus assets can be redeployed or reused within their organization or within a joint venture partner’s organization. The equipment used in large oil & gas projects is often capital-intensive. If a company can reuse or redeploy a portion of surplus equipment, it prevents the company from having to purchase a similar asset twice. An asset management software system is an effective tool to gain visibility into available assets for redeployment across the enterprise. Implementation of a user-friendly, web-based system will ease adoption and help employees identify which assets should be redeployed and which assets should be sold. Through redeployment, the life of an asset is extended within the organization, saving dollars and time on new equipment that would otherwise have to be purchased. Oftentimes, redeployment is the most costeffective method to recover the investment on decommissioned assets, but engineering

requirements, timing, and equipment condition will be major considerations in evaluating whether the asset has redeployment value. Reselling Equipment to Recover Value Redeployment may not always be possible if the asset is not needed within the organization or does not meet required specifications. In this case, there are other proven methods to capture recovery value. Reselling the equipment through established vendors and platforms offers the organization an opportunity to maximize the cash they recoup from capital investments and minimize the net cost of field decommissioning. This expensive decommissioning process can at times cost more to complete than the value of the used surplus equipment. If equipment can be sold, instead of scrapped, then the sale proceeds will help offset the costs of decommissioning offshore oil and gas facilities. This option provides oil & gas companies with a trusted method to recover value on otherwise idle assets. However, it’s important to follow key steps in both the decommissioning and sales process to receive maximum value and effectively mitigate risk. In preparing for a sale, equipment must be properly decommissioned to follow legal, safety, and project requirements. An intricate and expansive supply chain is used to build oil & gas facilities, and an equally detailed plan must be put in place to decommission and sell surplus assets on the back end. The stages of decommissioning can be thought of as a “reverse supply chain” process and may include the following steps: • Planning - Planning a decommissioning project at least two years ahead of time will provide companies with options to minimize their liabilities by both reducing and recovering field removal costs. During the initial planning process, it is also critical to identify those assets with the greatest potential for resale (type, size, duty, and


numbers) and those which are likely to achieve maximum return by being scrapped. The plan of work will need to detail the steps for decommissioning the project, management of environmental, health and safety (EH&S) issues, and future plans for individual equipment removed from the site. Providing original equipment documentation will not only assist in the permitting process, but also support the future sale, helping your investment recovery vendor to properly market the sale and target the relevant re-sale markets. The availability of original documentation and material certifications can regularly increase resale value by as much as 50 percent. • Permitting - Prior to shutting down a site, such as an oil & gas platform, it is necessary to obtain the proper permits and have a plan of work approved by the respective regulating authorities. EH&S issues will be closely examined to ensure a compliant decommissioning process. • Plug and Abandonment - In the case of an oil & gas platform, after it has reached the end of its productive life, it is plugged and abandoned with cement and heavy mud. The wellhead is removed, and the casing is cut off at a depth of 3 to 6 feet underground with a steel cap placed over the top. This critical step prevents water supply or underground formation contamination and allows the company to permanently close the well through EH&S compliant procedures. • Preparation - There are three key steps to prepare for the reverse supply chain process during decommissioning: (1) Prepare storage yards to receive surplus equipment, (2)Start marketing plans (note: some assets can be marketed prior to field removal), and (3) Determine internal redeployment possibilities by checking with other upcoming field developments to see if the equipment can be reused. • Structure and pipeline removal - While completing final equipment removal, it is helpful to work directly with your contractors to limit the damage to the structure and topsides during removal – especially on items that can be reused or resold. Damage can negatively impact recovery values on your surplus. • Site Clearance - Should the equipment site(s) be available for potential buyers to view, it’s important to ensure that the site is clear of obstructions in adherence to safety and compliance rules. Following the detailed decommissioning process, the sales process can begin. There are three basic steps required to sell surplus and decommissioned equipment in order to achieve the maximum possible benefits: 1 Information gathering - It is important for

prospective buyers to have enough data to make an informed decision about the equipment. Providing accurate, relevant information such as engineering drawings, inspection reports, and digital photos along with detailed descriptions of the asset(s) will typically improve offers on equipment. In addition, making equipment available for inspections provides an additional opportunity for potential buyers to gather the information they need to make an offer. 2 Market and sell - A well-targeted and strategically integrated marketing and sales program should be designed to generate interest, and ultimately, to drive higher sale recovery. Presentation for your sale can make the difference between a successful and a mediocre result. Marketing a professional package of information – such as a sales catalogue and online advertisement with visuals and product description information to other end users or equipment refurbishers will improve the quality of buyer offers. Once you have a professional marketing package, it is also important to target qualified buyers across the globe to find as many interested parties as possible through email marketing, advertising, and direct mail. Since this is a non-core business function, most oil & gas companies often use third parties with global websites and marketing teams to advertise the available surplus. By leveraging a global online marketplace, buyers sitting at computers anywhere in the world can view equipment information, review photographs, and make offers or place bids. 3 Complete the transaction - All the marketing in the world will not bring the right offers or increase buyer interest if you cannot effectively close a sale. Conduct due diligence on your buyers and have your legal team develop and approve transactional documents, including bills of sales and liability releases. Be sure to also execute a smooth process after the sale and create a welldocumented file for audits. An established partner will understand the process fully and provide the necessary support to ensure steps are followed to ensure compliance with project and legal requirements. Once you have completed your sale, incorporate lessons learned and feedback from buyers and other stakeholders to improve future marketing and sales efforts.

different types of materials and will pay more for properly grouped items. Keep in mind that only a small percentage of oil & gas production platforms (approximately 10 percent) are reused as customization of each platform is typically too project-specific for use in another project. In the case of assets such as platforms, recycling or scrapping can typically work well. When pursuing this method, a competitive environment created by online auctions and sealed bids through a trusted vendor can produce significantly higher pricing results on scrap over traditional methods of selling the scrap to a local vendor. Summary In conclusion, there are three trusted methods to follow when decommissioning oil & gas facilities and assets, with best practices to guide each method. By combining your industry expertise and available information with your organization’s strategic goals, you can determine the best option for each project. As you seek to maximize the total value from surplus assets following a sustainable and compliant process; a trusted expert in the reverse supply chain can be your best resource to deliver desired outcomes.

Recycling Decommissioned Assets For materials that cannot be reused, refurbished, or may be obsolete, scrapping or recycling the materials can serve as a costeffective and environmentally-friendly way to recover value from these assets. Separating the materials by metals and types can increase value, since many scrap buyers specialize in 47


Lessons to be learned from Onshore Decommissioning The decommissioning of oil and gas facilities in the North Sea presents a huge challenge, quite literally, but drawing on the knowledge and experience of UK land-based consultants and contractors could help smooth the process, argues Richard Vann, Managing Director of RVA Group.


So what’s the next step? I’d like to see a commitment from platform operators to seriously investigate piece small methodology. Improved engagement with onshore professionals and the contracting supply chain is also required coupled with making use of the tried and tested good practice in the decommissioning, decontamination, dismantling and demolition industry. Richard Vann, Managing Director RVA Group

48 Decom News: Issue 15

In cost alone it is projected that the cumulative expenditure on removing these outdated production platforms will be in the region of £35 billion over the next 30 years. And given that this is still a relatively new industry, it is acknowledged that there are considerable supply chain weaknesses and bottlenecks to overcome. Perhaps the biggest obstacle is the lack of engagement with those most able to help. Traditional or onshore demolition is significantly more advanced and offers much by way of knowledge and experience that offshore operators can draw on directly to potentially overcome some of the hurdles and issues it is currently facing. Things have come a long way since the days of sledgehammers and wrecking balls. Highly sophisticated techniques and machinery are now used to decommission complex and hazardous sites and facilities over short, medium and long-term timescales. There are several major players in the UK – consultants, engineers and contractors – managing and undertaking multi-million dollar, large-scale, high-hazard and complex plant dismantling projects as a matter of routine across the globe. So how do we take this capability and employ it in the offshore sector? Firstly, oil and gas companies need to recognise the developments made in the demolition arena over the last two decades. In particular, it needs to consider piece small dismantling as a mainstream approach over the traditional ‘bring it back as it went out’ methodology. In practice, this means dismantling platform plant and equipment in-situ. Hazardous materials, including asbestos and NORM, can be removed offshore while waste streams can be segregated at source ready for processing and disposal onshore. This piece small dismantling approach has several advantages, including the potential to reduce the cost of any one particular project.

It provides for the opportunity to use or share resources over a number of gas or oil platforms in an economic and concurrent or consecutive sequence. Work can also be phased to maximise weather window efficiencies with the operator retaining a higher level of flexibility over the whole project. Furthermore, piece small dismantling relies less on HLV, so existing supply vessels and barges can be used for the majority of operations. It also provides opportunities to use a wider range of reception facilities and there are increased choices in the onshore disposal of arisings. Even if the HLV approach is selected for a platform, tackling 50 metre tall structures, weighing up to 30,000 tonnes and with a footprint of 70-80 square metres should not be underestimated. Here again the leading organisation form the traditional demolition industry, will have a great deal to bring to the table. Just like our colleagues out at sea, we fully understand the importance of balancing cost effective, innovative and pragmatic dismantling solutions with EHS excellence. There is much invaluable knowledge and experience that will translate and add considerable value to offshore dismantling programmes.


Integrated Well Abandonment

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lowers costs by reducing personnel and equipment requirements. *Mark of Schlumberger. © 2013 Schlumberger. 13-OF-0065 49


Events Update BOOK NOW Decom Offshore 2014, Evening Reception, Maritime Museum Aberdeen, 26th of May Decom Offshore 2014, AECC, 27th of May Following on from the success and great feedback on the Decom Offshore 2013 event, planning is now underway for 2014. The aim of this interactive event is to advise the supply chain of the challenges faced by Operators and Tier 1 Contractors when undertaking an offshore decommissioning project, and to inform the Operators and Tier 1 Contractors of innovative solutions and techniques which the supply chain can offer to address these challenges. The event format will be a mixture of interactive plenary sessions, exhibition space and 1-21 opportunities as well as plenty of time for networking. More information to follow.

SAVE THE DATE: Offshore Decommissioning Conference, Fairmont Hotel, St Andrews, 7 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 9th of October

Lunch & Learn This series of events allow the supply chain companies to have the opportunity to give 15 - 20 mins presentations on their capabilities in offshore decommissioning to an audience of operators, major contractors and potential partners. All Lunch & Learns will be held between 12-2pm. 19th of March This event will include presentations from Claxton Engineering Services, Jee Limited, and Oilstates MCS Limited.

23rd of April This event will include presentations from Acorn Coaching and Development, AKD Engineering, and D3 Consulting.

11th of June This event will include presentations from Enviroco, Quickflange UK Ltd and Tetra/Reef Subsea who will be doing a joint presentation.

20th of August This event will include presentations from Aggreko, Baker Hughes and CUT.

17th of September This event will include presentations from Sky-Futures, Spartan Solutions, and Weatherford.

Decom North Sea Learning Journey to the Netherlands, W/C 17th of March The aim of this learning journey is to explore offshore decommissioning opportunities in the Netherlands, promote Decom North Sea members capabilities to the Dutch market and explore opportunities for collaboration. For more information and to register your interest in participating in this learning journey contact

Southern North Sea Special Interest Event Meeting, 29th of April & 30th of July Decom North Sea and East of England Energy Group (EEEGr) have formed a Special Interest Group focussed on the decommissioning opportunities in the Southern North Sea. More information to follow.

Decom North Sea OTC Networking Breakfast, 7th of May Decom North Sea are organising a networking breakfast during the week of the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) in Houston. During this breakfast we will be exploring various decommissioning market opportunities.

12th of November This event will include presentations from Babcock International Group, Maclay Murray and Spens LLP, and Scotoil.

Training Course â&#x20AC;&#x201C; From Planning to Execution Are you new to decommissioning? Do you want to learn more about the sector? Could you benefit from having a broader understanding of what is involved in the whole lifecycle of a decommissioning project? Could you benefit from understanding lessons learned in past decommissioning projects? Would you like to discuss and debate how decommissioning can be undertaken more efficiently? Decom North Sea in partnership with Decomareus Ltd have created a new training course focused on Offshore Decommissioning. The overall objective is to inform participants of the background, scope and cover some of the key issues associated within the decommissioning sector over a two day period.

Dates for your Diary: 26th & 27th of February, Palm Court Hotel, Aberdeen. 30th April & 1st of May, TBC, Norwich. 25th & 26th of June, TBC, Aberdeen. 19th & 20th of November, TBC, Aberdeen.

Please visit for details.

If you are interested in booking, more information or would like to participate at one of these events, please visit our website or contact Jennifer Mann on 01224 914044 or

50 Decom News: Issue 15





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Raise your profile within the offshore decommissioning industry, become a member today.

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Raise your profile within the offshore decommissioning industry, become a member today.