Scotland business

More than £15bn to be spent on North Sea decommissioning

Oil installation Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Decommissioning is now said to represent almost 10% of the industry's overall expenditure

More than £15bn will be spent on decommissioning work in the North Sea oil and gas industry over the next decade, according to a new report.

Industry body Oil and Gas UK's 2019 Decommissioning Insight Report said there was "growing competitiveness" and the sector was more efficient.

The findings indicate decommissioning now represents just under 10% of the industry's overall expenditure.

An annual spend of about £1.5bn is predicted.

Scores of platforms are expected to be completely or partially removed in the coming years in the waters off the UK and Norway.

'New beginning'

OGUK decommissioning manager Joe Leask said: "Our 10th annual Decommissioning Insight shows a healthy sector well-positioned to realise some £15bn of opportunities over the next decade.

"We're already seeing exciting new companies emerging as specialists in decommissioning."

He added: "Decommissioning is not the end of our industry; it offers a new beginning.

"Four years ago, industry stepped up to the challenge to cut decommissioning costs by 35% and we are well on the way to achieving that."

In June, oil giant Shell removed a second platform from its Brent field in the North Sea.

Brent Bravo, 115 miles (185km) north-east of Lerwick in Shetland, produced its first oil in 1976.

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