Decommissioning opportunities to be revealed at energy conference

26th January 2018

Now is the time for businesses in the East of England to seize decommissioning opportunities across the “single-basin” Southern North Sea (SNS), including the Netherlands, industry leaders say.

The East of England has many synergies with the Dutch sector when it comes to the multi-billion programme to dismantle offshore infrastructure, delegates at a major energy conference will be told.

New supply chain business opportunities and how its capabilities could be advertised and promoted better across the basin will be revealed at the East of England Energy Group’s (EEEGR) flagship exhibition and conference SNS2018, which will focus on the themes of Collaboration, Innovation and Rejuvenation.

Details of how the two nations can work together to bring down costs will be discussed on the stage at the Norfolk Showground on March 1, the event’s second day.

A new task group set up by EEEGR’s Late Life and Decommissioning Special Interest Group (SIG) has been working on how closer cross-nation working can help supply chain businesses.

The East of England oil & gas hub, Great Yarmouth, is just 124 miles from the port of Amsterdam.

Julian Manning, chair of EEEGR’s Late Life and Decommissioning Special Interest Group (SIG), said the time was right for the East of England supply chain to look across the single-basin SNS to the Dutch market for contracts.

“We are looking at how we collaborate as two nations and optimise cost efficiency and decommissioning and how that can be achieved by collaboration on campaigns and sharing best practice between both sides.”

The SIG’s deputy chair, Decom North Sea director Stuart Wordsworth, leads the UK-Holland SIG task group.

“Collaboration between the UK and Dutch sectors will mean corralling the workload, improved forecasting and joint business.

“Delegates at SNS2018 will hear that work is under way to encourage cross basin operators to be more engaged and understanding of what the supply chain wants and for more of the workload to be levelled through regional companies.”

 “By speaking to operators and regulators, we are trying to gauge wins; the interest level of sharing information between the two regions and if we can forecast the the workload better and advertise and promote the local capability better in the supply chain“

“Many decommissioning projects will be firsts for companies and there are limited systems for learning and sharing, which need to be developed.’

Also on the stage in the hour-and-a-half session will be Jacqueline Vaesson, the newly-appointed general manager of Nexstep, the Dutch national platform for re-use and decommissioning, an umbrella partnership between the Government oil & gas shareholder, Dutch operators and the Dutch Supply chain.

She will highlight the synergies between the UK SNS and the Dutch sector, including design of platforms, wells and pipeline, facilities, type and size, water depths and marine environments, age of assets, comparable numbers in infrastructure and similar operational challenges.

The one-basin SNS has:

  • More than 1200 offshore wells to plug and abandon
  • More than 250 structures to be removed
  • More than 5,000km of pipeline to be abandoned or removed



Challenges include different political, legislative and regulatory environments, government ownership structures -  the UK is a stakeholder while the Netherlands is a shareholder –cultural and operational differences.


Keynote speaker will be Nils Cors, Head of Decommissioning for the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA), giving an overview of the OGA, decommissioning and what the supply chain needs to do to react.


Imminent decommissioning plans of a SNS operator will also be revealed to help supply chain companies shape their business and tender plans. Girish Kabra, of Spirit Energy, the E&P joint venture which combines Centrica plc’s E&P business with Bayerngas Norge AS, will outline what the company plans to decommission and when in its SNS Decommissioning plan and what it expects from the supply chain.


Other session speakers are Roger Esson, Decommissioning Solution Centre Manager for the Oil & Gas Technology Centre, former CEO of Decom North Sea, who will focus on the technology needed to cut the costs of decommissioning, and how the supply chain can get involved in the centre’s work, and Tom Leeson, interim CEO of Decom North Sea, will update delegates on decommissioning forecasts.


Delegates will be able to send their questions for an on-stage panel discussion via their smartphones and SLIDO.