The Oil & Gas Technology Centre (OGTC) has partnered with the University of Aberdeen to establish a new decommissioning centre in Scotland.
Termed ‘Centre of Excellence’, the institution will be based at the university’s Oceanlab facility and will address current and future challenges with research and development (R&D) in collaboration with industry.
Around 100 platforms and 7,500km of pipeline on the UK Continental Shelf are projected to be decommissioned over the next ten years, with costs expected to reach £59bn by 2050.
The Oil & Gas Authority set a target of reducing the cost by 35%.
The Centre of Excellence will team up with companies to develop and deploy technology that reduces the cost of decommissioning at the end of field life, and during oil and gas production operations.
Existing challenges to be worked upon at the centre include facilities clean-up and removal and well plugging and abandonment.
Furthermore, the centre will work on optimising future design for recycling and reuse, including the use of new materials.
OGTC CEO Colette Cohen said: “It will drive the technology innovation needed to maximise economic recovery, make sure that facilities are decommissioned efficiently and help the UK create the strong and vibrant supply chain it needs to become a global leader in this growth market.
“We are now seeking industry partners with experience, ideas and equipment who want to co-invest with us to deliver a step change in performance, with support from the Oil & Gas Authority, the Offshore Petroleum Regulator for Environment and Decommissioning, and the Health & Safety Executive.”
The centre is expected to open later this year.
The Oceanlab facility features testing equipment such as indoor immersion tanks and a hyperbaric pressure vessel for certifying new technology, as well as testing solutions that could reduce decommissioning costs.