Decommissioning Insight 2019


In comparison with last year’s forecast, there is a slight increase in scope in almost every area. An increased level of activity coupled with a slight reduction in the overall expenditure in the basin shows that the market is forecasting to be more efficient, conducting more work for the same cost. The number of fields where decommissioning activity is expected (i.e. one or more elements of the WBS will occur in the field) has increased from 203 last year to 230 in this year’s forecast, and more activity in every region of the UKCS. Although we have seen a general increase in the overall activity, the central North Sea has seen a slight reduction in a few areas. The number of wells expected to be decommissioned over the next decade in the CNS has dropped from 599 last year to 568 this year. The reductions in the CNS are being offset by an increase in activity in the west of Shetland and NNS, and SNS and IS regions. Most notably, the forecast number of wells to be decommissioned in the NNS has increased from 391 as reported in Decommissioning Insight 2018 to 547 in this year’s forecast, with a smaller increase reported in the SNS and IS from 475 to 486. It is clear that the recent M&A activity in the UKCS is starting to shift the decommissioning workload away from the CNS to other regions.


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