More oil and gas fields around the world are coming to the end of their life cycle, while at the same time over 400 nuclear reactors worldwide have been retired from operation. What are the decommissioning challenges and opportunities, and what does engineering information have to do with it all?
- Investment in decommissioning will continue to grow.
- Almost £17 billion will be invested in the deconstruction of oil and gas installations, rigs, wells, pipelines, and other pieces of sub-sea infrastructure in the North Sea between now and 2024. At the same time, at least 23 decommissioning projects will happen in the Norwegian Continental Shelf over the next decade, with 284 wells set to be deconstructed, along with 360 km of pipeline and 14 oil platforms (source).
- When considering the maturity of North Sea assets, the abundance of investment in decommissioning activities hardly comes as a surprise; the average asset age in the North Sea is estimated to be 25 years, with more than 245 assets being older than 30 years (source).
- At the same time, a growing amount of nuclear facilities – including approximately 110 commercial power reactors, 46 experimental or prototype reactors, more than 250 research reactors, and a number of fuel cycle facilities – have been retired from operation (source).
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About the Author
Hans Kouwer is Business Development Consultant at Intergraph Process, Power & Marine. Hans focuses on helping business organizations to support and optimize their business processes through implementing information and communications technology (ICT) solutions.