Decommissioning Insight 2019

In the UKCS a total of 1,630 wells are expected to be decommissioned over the next decade. This is a slight increase from the 1,465 reported last year’s Decommissioning Insight . When pieced together, the workload profiles across the regions of the North Sea have produced a steady burn rate of about 150 wells per year, very similar to last year’s findings. This shows that operators are seeking to plan well activity strategically to best fit the workload capability of the UK market. The number of fields with expected well decommissioning activity varies between 40 and 22 throughout the first eight years of the forecast, increasing to 50 at the end of the dataset. The amount of exploration and appraisal wells, subsea wells and platform wells expected to be decommissioned also trends upwards in the final two years of the dataset. This year’s findings anticipate a slight reduction in the number of suspended exploration and appraisal (E&A) wells to be decommissioned. Sixty-six E&A wells are forecast to be decommissioned, in comparison with the 82 forecast in last year’s data. While this represents only 4 per cent of the anticipated activity, there is some uncertainty in this figure 16 .












16 E&A wells are used to determine the feasibility of a potential future development. Many are in open water and are there- fore not assigned to a specific field in the Asset Stewardship Survey process. Operators are ultimately responsible for the decommissioning of these wells


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