Decommissioning Insight 2019


Greater oil price stability — The stable oil price seen over the last two years in comparison with 2014–16 provides more certainty for operators to continue to operate assets. Efficiencies in decommissioning — Experience in decommissioning is growing in every element of the scope. As a result, efficiencies are being seen within decommissioning projects. This growing capability is beginning to industrialise the decommissioning process particularly in the southern North Sea, where there has been a production line of projects and operators are noting significant savings on similar activities from one project to the next.


In 2017, after producing around 125 million barrels during its life, the TAQA-operated Eider field in the northern North Sea (NNS) had become uneconomic. Taking the time to consider the big picture, TAQA developed a strategy to transform the economics of a network of assets, resulting in a multi-faceted programme of work being undertaken which secured several more years of production for TAQA’s wider NNS portfolio.

The programme included a number of technical and interdependent elements, including a well decommissioning campaign which culminated in CoP of Eider in January 2018; redirecting production from TAQA’s subsea Otter field from Eider directly to its North Cormorant platform; and installing a multi-phase pump (MPP) system at Otter to further boost production. Following the CoP of Eider, the asset was converted to late life ‘utility mode’ and continues to provide power and system support to the other hub fields. With the aim of minimising the amount of post-CoP OPEX, Eider utility mode has resulted in a smaller operating crew of six Personnel on Board (POB), because Eider is no longer producing hydrocarbons, significantly reducing the amount of maintenance, inspection and catering required on the platform. Furthermore, vessels are scheduled monthly and a weekly flight enables crew changes and the movement of any specialist vendors or equipment to and from the platform. This has resulted in a 57 per cent reduction in post-CoP OPEX when compared with the year prior.


Made with FlippingBook - Online magazine maker