What can oil producers learn from the likes of Toyota and Zara? How to remove all non-essential aspects of an operation and produce in the safest, shortest, cheapest way, according to Amec Foster Wheeler’s operations manager for late-life and decommissioning.
There will be a period of "acute uncertainty" as the industry awaits the repercussions of the Oil and Gas Authority’s new powers to block decommissioning plans, according to Greg Gordon, senior lecturer at Aberdeen University Centre for Energy Law.
The private-equity firm backing the North Sea’s newest oilfield-services company believes now is the “ideal time” to invest in plugging and abandonment. Industry consultants say that depends on whether operators can be persuaded that there are cost benefits to conducting P&A sooner rather than later.
The Gulf of Mexico’s shallow-water decommissioning boom has come to a halt. Deepwater decommissioning has stronger prospects, with development of affordable technologies crucial to enabling the next phase in offshore removals and abandonments in the United States.
Stuck between two extremes of extending or ending offshore production in response to persistently low oil prices and reduced capital funds, a few outliers have been found opting for a middle ground of partial decommissioning.