OEUK news

Business breakfast highlights steady growth of decommissioning opportunities

27 June 2018


A panel of industry experts debunked the myths that currently surround the evolving decommissioning market at this morning’s Oil & Gas UK London Business Breakfast.

Attendees of ‘Decommissioning the North Sea in a $78 World’, the latest in a series of decommissioning-focused events organised by the industry association, also heard from industry leaders who highlighted the opportunities a growing decommissioning sector in the North Sea presents to the UK supply chain.

Mike Tholen, Upstream Policy Director at Oil & Gas UK and Chair of this morning’s event said: “It’s exciting to see how the market is evolving with specialists coming in to seize the decommissioning opportunity. That being said, there is no rush to the door. As the OGA demonstrates in its latest report, companies are becoming more proficient on how to manage decommissioning, costs are coming down and lessons are being shared; as a result companies will better able to maximise recovery.

“It’s important to remember that decommissioning is a natural part of an oil and gas province’s lifecycle and exists alongside exploration and production activity on the UK continental shelf. Decommissioning of the North Sea oil and gas assets will take place over the next 30 years and more, with new field developments extending this time-line for decades to come.

Alan Burke, Partner in the White & Case Global Oil & Gas Group said: “It was a pleasure to be able to host such an excellent event and to continue our relationship with Oil & Gas UK.  The flow of decommissioning deals from last year may have slowed but the development of new business models, the growing incentives for the movement of the right assets to the right hands, and regulatory initiatives such as transferable tax histories all suggest a sound basis for activity as decommissioning looks to move towards becoming an industry in its own right.”

The event was chaired by Oil & Gas UK Upstream Policy Director Mike Tholen and featured the speakers:

  • Nils Cohrs, Oil & Gas Authority 
  • Graeme Fergusson, Decom Energy
  • Richard Heard, Oil & Gas UK 


Oil & Gas UK is the leading representative organisation for the UK offshore oil and gas industry. Its membership comprises oil and gas producers and contractor companies.

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