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New Energy World
New Energy World embraces the whole energy industry as it connects and converges to address the decarbonisation challenge. It covers progress being made across the industry, from the dynamics under way to reduce emissions in oil and gas, through improvements to the efficiency of energy conversion and use, to cutting-edge initiatives in renewable and low carbon technologies.
Decommissioning the world’s ageing energy infrastructure, be it offshore oil field platforms, off- and onshore wind turbines, solar panels and much else besides, is a massive task with varying rules and levels of compliance. Selwyn Parker reports.
Assaulted by storms, salt water, structural fatigue and ultimately unfavourable economics, every offshore energy-producing installation will eventually come to its use-by date. And nowhere more so than in the hostile environment of the North Sea, where a huge new industry is rapidly developing that, the UK government hopes, will be deployed around the world.
Decommissioning has in the last few short years become as important as the original commissioning, and just as inseparable. As the North Sea Transition Authority (NSTA) notes in its latest report, decommissioning of the oil and gas infrastructure in the UK Continental Shelf is estimated to cost around £44.5bn. Even before the authorities sign off on a new energy project, operators are now required to provide full details of the decommissioning process, including its funding.
No thought was given to decommissioning in the early years of the North Sea; now it’s obligatory.