The decommissioning challenge in the UK is significant. It is expected to be expensive and take decades to complete. It must
be completed in a safe manner, with an emphasis on protection of the environment.
Decommissioning, however, offers a number of opportunities for innovation and cost reduction, as well as utilisation of skills and capabilities from other areas of the industry.
Currently, there are 250 fixed installations, over 250 subsea production systems, more than 3,000 pipelines, and approximately 5,000 wells, all of which are due to be decommissioned. Infrastructure is also interconnected, with installations required as a conduit for transportation of produced hydrocarbons to shore. Beyond individual installations, these decommissioning projects require careful planning to realise cost efficiencies and optimal solutions.
Prior to cessation of production; Legasea can provide input and advice on early conceptual and feasibility studies, and assist with FEED studies, allowing reuse to be built into decommissioning programs.
This early identification of reusable equipment offers an opportunity to clearly define the most environmentally responsible solutions for serviceable equipment which would have been previously designated as waste.
At present, very little waste from decommissioning is reused. Generally all end of life subsea equipment is classed as waste on cessation of production. It therefore enters the waste steam and is scrapped once it is brought on shore. Legasea can manage this on behalf of their clients, preventing it from becoming waste and enabling all the useful components from the equipment to be refurbished and recertified for reuse.
This provides an opportunity to enable greater reuse on decommissioning . Legasea, as subsea specialists, can realise the value of these systems by dismantling them and taking out the component parts which can be reused, recertified and remanufactured.
In many cases, these component parts are no longer available, and can be used to replace out of service equipment in older fields. Partnering with other circular economy organisations, we are also able to replace damaged components, to give them another lease of life.