OEUK news

Well decommissioning guidelines capture advances in innovation and efficiency

26 June 2018

Ahead of Oil & Gas UK’s decommissioning-themed business breakfast in London tomorrow (June 27), sponsored by White & Case, it is issuing a new edition of Well Decommissioning Guidelines to update the industry on advances in good practice and innovation.

Katy Heidenreich, Oil & Gas UK’s operations optimisation manager, said:

“Around £750 million per year is being spent on decommissioning of wells on fields that have ceased production.  These guidelines reflect the latest industry approach and encourage innovation and efficiency whilst providing a robust framework for the risk based decision-making process that should accompany any well decommissioning activity.

“Decommissioning is taking place alongside industry’s drive to stimulate exploration and production activity on the UK Continental Shelf and the key to securing a long- term future for our sector is to develop competitive capabilities at every stage of the oil and gas lifecycle.  Oil & Gas UK offers technical guidelines covering all aspects of well design and operations which have an unrivalled following around the industry.”

The well decommissioning guidelines provide recommendations to support well-operators on the considerations they need to observe to ensure that so far as is reasonably practicable, there can be no unplanned escape of fluids from formations with the potential to flow after the well has been decommissioned. In updating these guidelines, the industry is sharing expertise to help manage these activities ever more effectively, while maintaining safety and environmental standards at the highest levels.

Specialists from Oil & Gas UK’s Wells Forum workgroup and stakeholders including the Health and Safety Executive, the Oil and Gas Authority and the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), helped contribute to the guidelines. Updates incorporate industry efficiency improvements and reference to the use of alternative materials such as resin instead of cement.

Ms Heidenreich added: “The North Sea is one of the few global oil production regions where decommissioning is predicted to grow in the next decade. If we can make the most of sharing our growing decommissioning expertise, the UK supply chain will have a major opportunity to develop world-class decommissioning capabilities that will have great potential for exporting in the future.”


Issued by the Communications Team, Oil & Gas UK. Contact Lucy Gordon on 01224 577331 / [email protected]




Notes to Editors

  • 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
  • The Guidelines for Decommissioning of Wells issued by Oil & Gas UK, were previously published as the Guidelines for the Abandonment of Wells, and “well abandonment” is now referred to as “well decommissioning” where appropriate.
  • A Decommissioning the North Sea in a $78 World business breakfast – organised by Oil & Gas UK, sponsored by White & Case and taking place in London on June 27 –  will provide an update on how industry and regulators are progressing with delivering the decommissioning scope in the UK.

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