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Nowadays, the problem of abandoning offshore oil installations is not only a concern of environmental organizations, but also a growing concern in the policies of governments and oil companies.
It is estimated that in the near future, hundreds of large platforms, built of steel and concrete, will have to be removed. Their cost and abandonment is quite significant and requires agreement between oil companies and Governments, keeping in mind the safest and most economical way to do so. It is an environmental issue but it is also an economic issue.
There are around 6500 production platforms in the world, distributed across the continental shores of 53 countries. Of these, more than 90% should be totally removed. Of the others, due to their weight and size, as well as the fact that they are in deep water, it will be difficult to remove them completely, and the oil companies have the possibility to partially removal them.
The International Maritime Organization (IMO), recognized as the authority on maritime procedures, allows the partial removal of large platforms located in the bathymetry above 250 feet and weighing more than 4,000 tonnes.
Prior to the decommissioning phase of an oil field, it is important to define the environmental conditions as well as the condition of asset integrity such as oil pipelines, platforms and other installed equipment. All this information will be useful in deciding what will be the best option for its decommissioning and final destination.
EQS offers consultancy services in decommissioning studies – decommissioning and abandonment plans. Our qualified team of consultants is highly experienced in the total and partial removal of all Oil and Gas Assets both offshore and onshore.
Among others, EQS can offer the following support services:
Before a decommissioning project development, field surveys shall be done in order to assess the facilities general condition along with safety and environment parameters. EQS provides the means and manpower for this purpose.
A decommissioning project involves different disciplines and related surveys, assessments, studies and project documentation. EQS provides a wide array of assessments and reviews related to decommissioning projects covering all information from general specifications till specific disciplines related details.
One of the primary information required on a decommissioning project is related to the current physical facility and installations condition. EQS is equipped with the necessary means, including a ROV, to assess the information regarding asset integrity, corrosion, and cathodic protection among others.
Nowadays, decommissioning activities are part of a project lifecycle, being included in its conception since the General Development Program. However, the field operations imply comprehensive licensing processes which can be managed by EQS legal department in a timely and effective manner.
Once decommissioning activities are concluded, there is still the legal requirement that the whole area of intervention should be subject to a monitoring campaign which will last for a long period of time. EQS offers its services to assist and perform such monitoring activities.