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Oil and gas decommissioning Scottish capability


This capability statement outlines Scotland’s geographic and technical strengths in oil and gas decommissioning. It discusses the challenges and opportunities that decommissioning presents, and sets out the aim of establishing Scotland as an international centre of excellence for decommissioning. It includes a number of case studies that demonstrate the depth and breadth of decommissioning experience both offshore and onshore. It highlights the current investment in onshore infrastructure, and provides information on the support available to companies for research and innovation and more broadly across the sector.


The research involved compiling short case studies and a review of previously published reports and statistics.


The report notes that expenditure on decommissioning is forecast at £1.2-2bn over the next five years, with cumulative values from 2017 to 2025 of £17 billion. Well plugging and abandonment represents 49% of this estimated expenditure. The report highlights commitment to the Oil and Gas Decommissioning Action Plan, which seeks to ensure that the oil and gas industry in Scotland is recognised internationally as a Centre of Excellence for Oil & Gas Decommissioning. In this regard, it argues that Scotland is ideally located to serve the North Sea decommissioning market, as it has a network of ports sited close to the offshore oil and gas infrastructure. Lerwick in particular is considered to be ideally placed to deliver an onshore centre of excellence for decommissioning. The report highlights a number of companies that are active across a range of fields in this sector, including: project management; environmental/site studies; well plugging and abandonment; technical/engineering studies; facilities running; cleaning/waste management; topsides preparation/removal; port infrastructure; subsea preparation/removal; onshore recycling/reuse/disposal; pipelines/risers/flexibles; vessels/logistics; and site remediation/monitoring. It also reports that Scottish Enterprise are also working with the Oil and Gas Technology Centre and the Oil and Gas Innovation Centre to help businesses access research and development funding, and with Opportunity North East (ONE) to help support small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) enter the market.


The report does not make any recommendations.

Author Scottish Enterprise
Published Year 2018
Report Type Research
  • Business infrastructure
    Supporting key sectors
  • Sectors
  • Enterprise
    Support to existing/growth businesses