Decommissioning Insight 2019

The ten-year snapshot forecasts that 59,610 tonnes of subsea structures will be removed, 4,925km of pipelines will be decommissioned and 16,033 mattresses will be recovered. These estimations are similar to those presented in last year’s report, in which a slight increase in the subsea structure removal activity and slight reductions in the pipeline and mattress decommissioning activity were expected. The central North Sea remains the area with the greatest level of subsea decommissioning activity, with 34,282 tonnes of subsea structures to be removed, 2,017km of pipelines to be decommissioned and 8,131 mattresses to be recovered. However, as with other elements of the Decommissioning WBS, this is a marked reduction when compared with the activity forecast in last year’s Decommissioning Insight , which anticipated that 2,533km of pipelines would be decommissioned and 10,135 mattresses would be recovered. The northern North Sea sees a 9 per cent increase in the tonnage of subsea structures to be removed compared with the 2018 report. There are also slight reductions in the number of mattresses and length of pipelines forecast to be decommissioned. The southern North Sea sees a significant uplift in subsea activity when compared with previous years, with over three times more tonnage of subsea structures forecast to be removed, a 35 per cent increase in the length of pipelines to be decommissioned and a 10 per cent increase in the number of mattresses. It should be noted that not all pipelines will be removed. UK legislation on pipeline decommissioning seeks reasoned justification on the best course of action to decommission a pipeline whether that be, full removal, trench and bury or rock cover. The most suitable decommissioning will be determined by a comparative assessment which will undergo a public consultation before approval from BEIS/OPRED.













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