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Decommissioning: should you extend or end?

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Oilfield Technology,

The oil and gas market in 2018 appears to have a greater focus than ever before on cutting costs and concentrating on sustainable methods. Operators are faced with the decision of extending or concluding offshore production asset life — and pre-decommissioning planning has emerged as a key challenge for the industry. Mitigating uncertainty, enabling decision making and justification as to whether to end or extend asset life, as well as detailed knowledge of asset conditions is crucial.

Here, we will look at a variety of diagnostics services and discuss whether lengthening or stopping asset life is the way to go…

Asset life: ending

What happens if your assets are not viable anymore? In some circumstances, decommissioning is the best option — but how do you do this effectively? The important factor here is to ensure that the route taken mitigates risk and is carried out safely, considering the best interests of the environment as well as complying with local regulations and legislation.

It’s a good tactic to attain plenty of information regarding asset conditions, as this will help to make an informed decision on dismantle and disposal plans. Knowledge of platform member integrity and flowline contents allows operators to assess the weight of structures (as well as ensure they are free from deposits/blockages) before any lifting, ensuring safe dismantling. Companies, such as Tracerco, also offer expertise and equipment for NORM and LSA scale management, detection, and disposal — ensuring that decommissioning is as safe as possible. These services are also valuable in radioactive source recycling, further enhancing the safety and sustainability of operators’ decommissioning programmes.



Asset life: extending

Perhaps, instead of ending, you should actually extend asset life. If you believe this is the case, the assessment of asset structures to retrieve data on the asset’s condition is vital to determining whether extending the asset life and production is safe. In cases of initial assessment, technologies that can confirm structural integrity with regard to pipeline corrosion and erosion, flexible riser liner and carcass inspection, midwater arch/buoyancy tank inspection, platform member inspection and grout monitoring is essential. These technologies are also vital during extended life campaigns, as regular inspection is required to confirm the viability of the asset.

What about ongoing processing? In reference to this, information given via detection, diagnostic and measurement technologies can guarantee maintainable, relatively inexpensive production. Reservoir recovery is circa 30% to 40%, and with IOR/EOR technologies as an industry, we have experienced a significant increase in these percentages. In IOR/EOR applications, chemical tracer technology can be used to manage fluid movement and maximise hydrocarbon output by establishing water entry points, providing a water cut profile along the wellbore and confirming the water source from the formation or injection water movement when combined with waterflood tracing.

When it comes to field development planning, certain technologies can also help operatives to recognise high-flow permeable channel blocking. In turn, this will help operators approve the efficiency of chemical treatment. In addition, operators can also measure waterflood effectiveness, residual oil saturation, water and oil inflow — which can often be used as an alternative to PLTs (sometimes deemed too risky or costly), as well as effective water injection and mud invasion.


This article was created by Tracerco, a leading industrial technology company that specialises in subsea pipeline inspection.

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Offshore news Subsea news