Economic Report 2018


Figure 15: Breakdown of Decommissioning Expenditure to 2025

Onshore disposal, remediation and monitoring

Subsea and pipeline decommissioning • Pipeline flushing • Subsea operations

Platform removals • Offshore lifting operations • Vessel, sea-fastening, transportation and load-in

• Onshore disposal, remediation and monitoring

• Field debris clearance • Monitoring programme

Topside preparation • Cleaning and flushing of hydrocarbons • Offshore construction • Separation of processing equipment




Well decommissioning


• Wells project

management services

• Specialist wells services • Rig upgrades


Project management and facility running costs • Offshore operations • Project management services • Preparation of decommissioning programme


Estimated Cost - £17 Billion

In recent years, there has been significant progress in the decommissioning sector. Most companies are now fully engaged with regulators, acknowledging that decommissioning is part of the operational lifecycle of a mature oil and gas basin, and closely linked to late-life operations. The context of decommissioning in a mature basin can be illustrated by the fact that in the five years to 2017, 27 decommissioning programmes for UKCS assets were approved by the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) – previously the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) – whilst in the same period, the same number of new field development plans received field development approval from the OGA. Progress – Technology The evolution of the decommissioning sector over the past five years has been significant, not least in terms of the development of technology. As with all parts of the life cycle, technology is being developed to make the decommissioning process safer, cheaper and more efficient as the scope has become clearer and the costs of execution better quantified. The establishment of the Oil and Gas Technology Centre (OGTC) and planning for the National Decommissioning Centre in Aberdeen provide important focus in establishing the UK as a world leader in the decommissioning of offshore infrastructure. One example of technology development was the removal of Shell’s Brent Delta topsides using the Allseas construction vessel Pioneering Spirit. The ship is a multi-purpose vessel designed to both install and decommission fixed facilities and pipelines and is capable of removing the heaviest topsides in a single lift.


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