Gulf of Mexico Decommissioning Projects Continue to Rise

Gulf of Mexico Decommissioning Projects Continue to Rise

With approximately 2,996 production platforms (distinguished from drilling rigs) on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf (OCS), the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) records indicate that 813 platforms currently fit the criteria of idle iron or are non-producing in this region.

With such a huge number of platforms for the industry to decommission, it is more important than ever to share best practice approaches, new technological breakthroughs and project case studies to ensure that all projects are completed on time and on budget.

Below is the breakdown from BSEE on the non-producing assets within their jurisdiction:

  • 258 are on Expired/Terminated/Relinquished Leases
  • 432 have enough material to be considered under Rigs-to-Reefs:
    • Only 156 are in water depths that would allow for 'Reefing-in-place'
  • 6 Permit Applications were denied for Rigs-to-Reefs issues
    • 5 for toppled/damaged facilities with not enough material, too close to existing reef sites, etc.)
    • 5 of the 6 Denied Applications were resubmitted for complete removal/disposal on shore
  • 386 Structures have actually been reefed since 1973 under a state artificial reef plan
  • 9 Removal Applications currently pending with Rigs-to-Reefs proposals.

In October 2010, the Idle Iron NTL came into effect creating a huge boost in decommissioning projects in the Gulf of Mexico. This increase in offshore decommissioning is continuing to accelerate with more and more platforms being removed in the region year after year.

In a decommissioning market valued at $30-$40 billion, this spike presents a vast opportunity for service providers in the Gulf of Mexico. On the flip side, heightened regulatory burden, combined with new technical challenges and increased risks will place heavy demands on both operators and contractors.

To address these issues, leading Gulf of Mexico major & independent operators, Apache, BP, Shell, Taylor Energy, Stone Energy, Chevron, Enbridge Energy and more will meet at DecomWorld's 5th Annual Decommissioning & Abandonment Summit, Gulf of Mexico in Houston, March 19-21 2013, to evaluate decommissioning approaches to improve efficiencies and cut costs whilst reducing offshore liabilities.

Alongside them, leading contractors such as Baker Hughes, Express Energy Services and TETRA Technologies to name a few will be presenting best-in-class; cost-effective decommissioning solutions and up-to-date case studies that will ensure operators can meet compliance challenges safely and efficiently.

With industry support from partners including the American Salvage Association and The Society for Underwater Technology, this year's conference and exhibition will cover all of the key challenges surrounding decommissioning for the offshore industry.

The Decommissioning & Abandonment Summit will take place on March 19-21 in Houston, TX. Over 800 senior offshore industry experts will gather to discuss the future of offshore decommissioning activities in the Gulf of Mexico as well as reflecting on the projects that took place in 2012.

This meeting is recognized as a must attend event for decommissioning professionals in an industry valued between $30 - $40 billion. The Summit, in its fifth blockbusting year, is the only forum for serious decommissioning industry professionals in the Gulf of Mexico that offers these networking and information sharing opportunities.

If you're involved in this industry you can't afford to stay away - DecomWorld's Head of Sector, Dean Murphy, commented, "This is the event to attend for those serious about offshore decommissioning. The D&A Summit has grown year on year with more operator companies in attendance than ever before. This reflects the growth of decommissioning in the Gulf of Mexico and the challenges that still lie ahead'. Dean continued to say, 'the decommissioning stage of offshore operations is crucial for operators. They must continue to align themselves with government regulations, harness the latest technology and partner with the real innovators in the market to ensure costs are kept down whilst ensuring continued safety'.

The conference has received strong feedback from past delegates. David Bowman, Petroleum Engineer at Nexen Petroleum commented, "Great forum. Very beneficial to see how others are handling decommissioning abandonment issues."

Tom Cheatum, Sales & Marketing Manager at Versabar commented, "All of the operators had their decommissioning project managers attending the conference; it gave us an opportunity to discuss projects at a higher level. In addition, it provided an opportunity for us to showcase our newest technology."

Register now to secure your place at the principal decommissioning event where strategies will be mapped, game-changing technologies showcased, and key deals brokered.


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