NSTA’s map to help North Sea operators reduce subsea decom costs

The North Sea Transition Authority (NSTA) has created a map and a dataset of assets to support four North Sea operators in their ambition to reduce subsea decommissioning costs by 50%.

Courtesy of North Sea Transition Authority
Courtesy of North Sea Transition Authority

A group of operators including CNR International, EnQuest, TAQA and TotalEnergies currently estimate they will have to spend £1 billion to decommission their UKCS subsea infrastructure over the next 15 years.

This is said to represent about a quarter of the forecast subsea infrastructure decommissioning bill for the whole basin.

The group of operators named Subsea Decommissioning Collaboration (SDC) started considering combining their decommissioning projects in one portfolio in 2018 and two years later narrowed the focus to subsea infrastructure and signed a charter to guide their ongoing work.

Last week, the operators launched an intensive round of engagement with suppliers in an effort to identify partners in driving technical and technological innovation.

The group wants to explore whether combining the work in a single package would open up new ways of working and save money on decommissioning.

In order to support commercial transformation in subsea decommissioning as one of four focus areas in the NSTA’s Decommissioning Strategy, published last year, the regulator created a map and a dataset of assets.

According to NSTA, the map was designed in response to the supply chain’s call for greater visibility of future workscopes and these detailed resources will form the basis of the discussion and help service companies bring game-changing ideas to the table.

The new dataset also represents a substantial improvement in the volume and quality of published data and the SDC is keen to receive feedback on how it could be improved further, NSTA added.

“The maps and datasets created by the NSTA are a key enabler of this project and we are proud to support these operators, which are working together to drive efficiency through large-scale decommissioning projects, which is exactly what we want to encourage”, said Pauline Innes, head of Decommissioning at the NSTA.

“The SDC is a great opportunity to reduce financial burden by developing new technologies and working more efficiently. This, in turn, will stimulate the development of a competitive and sustainable decommissioning market in which the supply chain can thrive long-term.”

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