Positive feedback on the 19th North Sea Decommissioning Conference

Around 170 delegates gathered on 3rd March for the two-day event which, for the first time, was held in Stavanger at the newly refurbished Radisson Atlantic Hotel and Conference Centre. Now in its 19th year, the NPF Decommissioning Conference is recognised within the North Sea region and globally as the leading event for industry leaders to address key decommissioning topics within the wider context of the upstream business.

Delegates including Regulators, Oil companies, major contractors and consultants, predominantly from the North Sea Region, and some having travelled from the US and Malaysia. The program committee had worked to arrange a varied program covering the entire decommissioning process for offshore wells and facilities, including regulatory perspectives, technology, project execution, learnings and future challenges.  The emphasis was on analysis and lessons learned on established themes, with some focus on emerging topics such as increasing public concern around marine plastics.

On Monday evening  Bjørn Vidar Lerøen delivered a thought provoking and engaging talk on the theme of “the oil industry, before and after decommissioning”.  Following a warm welcome from the mayor of Stavanger, the formal conference program commenced on Tuesday morning, with a series of presentations from industry trade associations, analysts and regulatory agencies, which provided insightful understanding of anticipated activity levels, cost and the scale of the effort that will be required by the industry in future years.

Tuesday afternoon session majored on themes of scientific research that informing public policy and future regulation, including marine science regarding the impact of man-made structures on the marine environment and thoughts on how the oil and gas decommissioning industry should prepare for increased public concern regarding plastics in the marine environment.

A first class dinner was enjoyed on Tuesday evening, providing one of many excellent opportunities for networking.

The Wednesday morning session shifted focus towards learning about the latest developments offered by the ever innovative supply chain capability, in particular the rapid development of ultra-heavy lift capability for facility removal.  Several sessions on demolition and onshore recycling of large structures concentrated on how we can improve safety performance in this area.  Always a popular topic, presentations from a number of companies that are progressing decommissioning projects were made, with the key emphasis on sharing lessons learned.

Feedback from delegates during the conference and from survey data was almost universally positive, particularly regarding the suitability of the venue and for a program that continues to offer broad and deep insights into an industry which is an inevitable, and increasingly important part of the oil and gas field development life cycle.

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