Six oil and gas operators and Oceaneering Services B.V. to jointly decommission wells in the North Sea

NAM, Neptune Energy, ONE-Dyas, Petrogas E&P, TotalEnergies EP Nederland and Wintershall Noordzee have signed an agreement with Oceaneering Services B.V. for the decommissioning of Mud Line Suspension (MLS) wells in the Dutch North Sea, which are wells that were once drilled for exploration purposes, but never became producing wells. This is the first time that wells from this many different operators will be removed together in one campaign.

Through Nexstep, the Dutch National Platform for Re-use & Decommissioning, the operators have been working over the past few years to prepare a first joint campaign. Research from parties like the Boston Consulting Group1 demonstrates that larger campaigns offer efficient execution, leading to optimal opportunity for learning and improvements as well as cost savings along the way. A combined strategy was developed for the rigless plugging and abandonment of 24 standalone MLS wells in the Dutch sector of the North Sea with the possibility that more wells could be added. MLS wells are relatively simple or easier to remove than wells that are connected to a platform making these wells ideally suitable for a first campaign. Now that the contract has been signed with Oceaneering Services B.V., the project enters its execution phase.

Early 2022, Oceaneering will begin with the preparations for the well and seabed survey. The scope of work for vessel-based decommissioning includes, amongst others, the following tasks: well and seabed survey, removal of protective structures, removal of temporary abandonment caps, removal of (oil based) well fluids, setting cement plugs in casing or annuli, cutting, and retrieving conductors, and disposal of waste. Oceaneering Services B.V. will execute the joint campaign in 2022 and 2023. The campaign is expected to be completed by 31 December 2023.

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Submitted By: Pascale Appels | Office Manager | Nexstep

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