Regulatory Push Grows for Decommissioning of Subsea Equipment
Increasing pressure to properly decommission subsea production systems when offshore oil and gas fields are plugged and abandoned (P&A) is becoming a major issue as low oil prices increasingly force producers to shut in unprofitable wells, Bruce Crager, executive vice president of Endeavor Management, said on 12 January at the monthly roundtable luncheon hosted by the Rice Global Engineering & Construction Forum.
“The subsea decommissioning market is becoming a focus worldwide due to lower oil prices and more regulatory pressure to P&A nonproducing wells,” Crager said in a presentation, Status of Subsea Decommissioning. “There appears to be real consideration of the benefits of leaving subsea systems in place vs. recovering them.”
Crager said most countries with offshore oil and gas production require subsea wells be plugged and abandoned as offshore fields reach the end of their productive lives; most regulatory regimes mandate that subsea flowlines, umbilicals, manifolds, and other subsea hardware be properly decommissioned as part of the P&A process. As many as thousands of offshore wells are and will be affected, he said.
“Decommissioning of subsea production systems and components is becoming increasingly important to offshore oil and gas operators. This means energy engineering and construction (E&C) companies need to solve significant technical, logistical, and management issues whenever subsea equipment is decommissioned,” Crager said. “Offshore production companies frequently reply upon energy E&C companies for the people, skill sets, and know-how needed to properly decommission subsea equipment.”
Petrobras Cuts E&P Capex, Buzios Oil Field To Account for 70% of E&P Investments
Brazil’s national oil company estimated a reduction of 22 to 38% in capital expenditures in E&P from its 2020–2024 strategic plan and expects to spend $6 billion through 2024 to decommission offshore platforms and wells and underwater gas pipelines.
Equinor Awards Contracts for Breidablikk Development
Equinor awarded multimillion-dollar contracts to Aker Solutions and Wood for work on the oil field in the Norwegian Continental Shelf. It said about 70% of the contracts for the development phase is expected to go to Norwegian companies.
US Agencies Advance Research To Increase Gulf of Mexico Production
The research will focus on potential policy changes that could help increase oil and gas production from deepwater infrastructure already in place in the Gulf of Mexico to reduce stranded assets.
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