New decommissioning body attracting significant interestNews // June 17, 2010
The Chief Executive of a new industry body set up to ensure UK businesses are ready to secure opportunities from decommissioning work over the coming years has welcomed strong levels of interest from the oil and& gas industry, with new members signing up from a broad range of organisations.
Brian Nixon, chief executive of Decom North Sea (DNS), said there was growing awareness in the industry of the need to secure and maximise economic benefit from the £30 billion workload of decommissioning work facing the North Sea over the next few decades.
New members of Decom North Sea include operators, major contractors, service specialists and technology developers. Individual companies to have joined recently include Marathon Oil, BP, Hess, Wood Group, Rotech Subsea, Peterson SBS and Port Services Group.
The group has also signed reciprocal agreements with regional energy bodies across Europe to help it reach as many potential members as possible in the UK and further afield. These include NOF Energy, East of England Energy Group, North Scotland Industries Group, IRO (the Association of Dutch Suppliers to the Oil & Gas Industry), Offshore Denmark and the Carbon Energy Club in Belgium.
“Our target is to have 70 members by the end of the year and I am confident we will achieve and even surpass this,’’ said Mr Nixon. “We have been extremely encouraged by the results of our membership drive and the welcome we have received from companies who believe we can make a significant difference to their growth ambitions both in the UK and overseas.
“The latest market projections agree that the first major lump of decommissioning activity in the North Sea is forecast to ramp up quickly within the next year or two. This emphasises that now is absolutely the right time for Decom North Sea to begin its work with the supply chain, and to stimulate the preparation, collaboration and innovation needed to secure this vital market opportunity.
“While we will be aiming to help the supply chain to develop cost reduction techniques in the North Sea initially, our role will include progressively supporting companies in future to export the skills and technologies that result to locations around the world.”
The membership drive had also been boosted by the appointment of Sarah Hillyear to lead on marketing activity for DNS, building on her previous experience working with the energy industry in roles at AREG (Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group), Aberdeen City Council and Scottish Enterprise. She is currently finalising a programme of events, seminars and share fairs in collaboration with other energy development organisations and government agencies.
The activity will cover the north-east, Highlands and Central Belt in Scotland and the north-east and south east in England where most of the potential supply chain for the decommissioning market is based – visit www.decomnorthsea.com for details. DNS will also explore further collaborative possibilities and knowledge transfer with potential Norwegian, Dutch and Danish partners.
Decom North Sea’s first major decommissioning industry conference takes place from 5th to 7th October and will be hosted in partnership with Oil & Gas UK. This two day event will focus on four major themes of decommissioning activity, two of which will be led by Oil & Gas UK with the other two being led by Decom North Sea.
Decom North Sea was established as a direct result of industry recommendations to stimulate and support the development of the decommissioning supply chain. Decom North Sea is benefiting from initial financial support from the UK Government’s Department of Energy and Climate Change, and from Scotland’s two economic development agencies (Scottish Enterprise and Highlands & Islands Enterprise), but aims to become self-sustainable through membership subscriptions and other sources of revenue.
Decom North Sea will focus on working closely with operators and the supply chain to encourage greater collaboration and innovation, and more effective transfer of learning and experience from past and current projects. An area being looked at is packaging a number of decommissioning projects together, to provide a stronger basis for preparation and possible investment in new equipment, people, facilities, joint ventures and similar.