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Five things to consider for subsea oil & gas decommissioning


As decommissioning is a non-revenue generating activity, its costs must be minimised. However, the offshore oil and gas industry can be conventional and persist with established practices. For example, rigs are routinely used to plug and abandon platform and subsea wells when other techniques may, in some cases, offer a lower-cost alternative.


Ask a rig operator for a solution and you will not be surprised to get a proposal that uses a rig whether you need its full capabilities or not. Talk to a solutions-driven company, free from ties to product lines and the need to maximise vessel or rig utilisation, and you may get surprisingly innovative ideas… and cut your costs substantially too.


Operators are used to getting together to commission seismic surveys or create operating joint ventures. Subsea suspended wells can also be cost-effectively abandoned in multiclient campaigns. Why commission vessels and a rig to abandon a few wells when you could add them to a 100-well multiclient campaign that tackles each when it is most convenient and is cost-effective for the overall project and everyone involved?


It pays to consider all the angles but engaging with countless companies can become complicated and consume time and resources. It may be better to work with one or two partners who integrate multiple disciplines to give a broad view whilst reducing the number of interfaces and contracts you need to manage.


Acteon’s record for leading change in decommissioning practices is well known. For example, it was the first company to complete rigless multi-client well abandonment campaigns. Recognising that every decommissioning project is different, we work with our customers to make the best use of alternative approaches and new technologies. Our aim is to lower the total cost of owning critical offshore infrastructure from the beginning to end of the life of a field.

With the ability to act independently of vessel operators and other contractors, Acteon can reduce costs by utilising the most suitable option for each task throughout the process and use more-costly, high-specification assets only when essential to achieve the required technical standard.

Acteon offers subsea oil and gas decommissioning solutions for plugging and abandoning wells, recovering and disposing of a range of subsea infrastructure and removing floating facilities. Most of these services are built around proprietary tools and techniques that enable many platform wells and suspended subsea wells to be plugged and abandoned without using a mobile offshore drilling unit (MODU) and infrastructure to be removed without the need for divers.

For instance, the SABRE™ subsea abrasive cutting, WellRaizer® well recovery and SWAT™ suspended well abandonment tool systems create a package that can sever platform well casings and conductors and recover them to surface without a MODU.

Offshore, we have recovered subsea trees, wellheads, manifolds umbilicals, risers, gas lift flowlines and mooring systems, and spooled, cut and disposed of umbilicals onshore. We have also removed floating assets. Although we can offer each service individually, there is greater value when combined as integrated services with a single point of contact and contract, often with innovative commercial terms.

To realise the advantage, contact the Acteon field life services team to discuss your decommissioning needs.