Well management expert, Exceed has announced the award of a milestone, vessel-based well plugging and abandonment campaign to be carried out in partnership with Mermaid Subsea Services UK (Mermaid) on behalf of four operators.
The result of a tranche of initial bids from the strategic partnership builds upon Exceed’s 130+ well abandonment track record and is the company’s largest vessel-based well P&A campaign to date, whilst representing Mermaid’s entry into the North Sea marketplace.
Due to commence Q3, the multi-operator vessel-based campaign is thought to be one of the largest campaigns of its type to be undertaken on the UKCS for at least a decade, and currently comprises the decommissioning of ten E&A wells across Northern, Central and Southern areas.
Based on the campaign approach, which has been highlighted as an important lever in the cost reduction of well P&A, the potential for this to become a multi-operator programme was the objective upon which the partnership was founded.
Mermaid Operations Director, Scott Cormack, who brings two decades of decommissioning and well P&A experience to his role, explains: “New contracting models are critical to achieving the decommissioning cost reduction target set by the North Sea Transition Authority (NSTA). However, the NSTA reported in 2021 that these models were yet to become the norm, and that a lack of collaboration was, in part, responsible.
“Our aim is to help address that situation, not only through our own collaboration with well management leaders Exceed, but also by encouraging operators to consider the benefits of a lump sum, campaign approach to decommissioning. That this has been the precise outcome of our first campaign is testament to the clear appetite for this approach amongst the operator community.”
John Anderson, Commercial Director for Exceed comments: “Our well decommissioning experts have worked on some of the sector’s highest profile abandonment campaigns, and it’s clear to us that this partnership brings something unique to the sector; a turnkey well P&A service, which provides not only the technical downhole capabilities but also complete control over vessel schedules.
“In this way, we can optimise timings to allow for multi-operator campaigns. With mobilisation/demobilisation accounting for a third of the total well P&A cost, this approach makes good economic sense, as well as minimising the environmental impact of multiple, separate campaigns.”
NSTA Head of Decommissioning Pauline Innes said: “The NSTA is actively promoting multi-operator, well-decommissioning campaigns – which can deliver substantial cost efficiencies, reduce emissions and give suppliers confidence to invest – and is encouraged this approach has gained traction in the North Sea market.”
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