New approaches to planning, stakeholder engagement and pipelines


Some things or events that you use to illustrate something immediately show your age, and this primer is a good example of that. When I started my career in the oil industry, the North Sea Brent field was the star child of an offshore oil field. I remember how the details of the field’s development were used to explain to me how things were done, and at no time did anyone use the word ‘decommissioning’. These offshore platforms were here to stay. Today, some 40 years later, we know better. Most of Brent’s facilities have been decommissioned, and the design of new facilities today must take into account their decommissioning at some point in the future.

To provide an overview of how facility decommissioning is approached today, I have selected four articles. EPS 203250 was presented at ADIPEC 2020 (Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference) and gives a good overview of the different aspects of the decommissioning of installations. It provides an overview of current decommissioning guidelines and typical practices, and explores cost-effective ways to address facility decommissioning, which is then illustrated by a case study in East Asia.

The remaining papers were presented at the 2019 PES Decommissioning and Abandonment Symposium in Malaysia. EPS 199195 reviews the existing planning process for decommissioning projects on the British Continental Shelf and explores an alternative approach to planning these activities. This approach uses as the main milestone not the date of production shutdown, but the date on which the facility is withdrawn, which automatically generates a different perspective of the dismantling process.

EPS 199209 focuses on the decommissioning of specific components of the installation, namely pipelines, flow lines and umbilicals. The fundamental question here is whether to leave them in place or remove them, and the paper presents the results of various studies aimed at determining the environmentally superior decommissioning option.

EPS 199203 addresses a completely different aspect of facility decommissioning, one that is often overlooked: the impact on host communities that have come to depend on these facilities. He concludes that decommissioning presents a unique opportunity for the operator of the facility to help stakeholders plan for the future and, when done right, it provides an opportunity to build on the legacy of the facility. operator.

Together, these four documents do not provide answers to all of the questions surrounding the dismantling process, but as I read them they have helped me look at this activity more broadly. So, I encourage you to read the synopses to better understand the dismantling process, which we cannot ignore as I did when I started my career.

Summaries of technical papers

Dismantling solutions for offshore structures address reliability and costs

An alternative planning method Decommissioning cuts costs

Study identifies environmentally superior decommissioning options

Stakeholder engagement in the decommissioning process

Complete technical documents available on OnePetro

EPS 203250 Cost effective decommissioning liability solutions for offshore structures by Isara Boondao, Mubadala Petroleum Thailand.

EPS 199195 Reduction of decommissioning costs through effective planning of decommissioning projects using the date of removal from the facility as a benchmark by A. Tung, Aberdeen-Curtin Alliance, University of Aberdeen and Curtin University; C. Otto, Curtin University oil & Gas Innovation center.

EPS 199209 Determine environmentally superior decommissioning options for rigid and flexible pipelines by P. Krause and J. Baquiran, ERM West Inc.

EPS 199203 Stakeholder engagement in the decommissioning process by S. Genter, Environmental Resource Management.

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