Summit offers decom strategies during ‘dead-money gold rush’Forging a sound decommissioning and abandonment (D&A) strategy in an extended period of cheap oil is the focus of the global industry’s largest knowledge-sharing event to be held early in the new year in Houston.
Billed as the “dead-money gold rush”, a medium-term future of depressed oil prices offers unique opportunities for operators and service providers to take a strategic approach to decommissioning, say organizers of the 8th Annual Decommissioning & Abandonment Summit, to be held February 23-25.
The announcement of new speakers and specially-tailored workshops at the Summit comes as a Reuters poll of analysts’ forecasts an even lower price of oil into 2016.
The average price forecast for benchmark North Sea Brent crude futures for next year, at $57.95 a barrel, is 57 cents below last month's poll, the Reuters survey of 31 analysts showed on 30 November.
“With the downturn set to continue as it has, major platform abandonment decisions look set to be brought forward as operators across the Gulf of Mexico and North Sea take advantage of lower execution costs and get those marginal fields off the books as soon as possible,” said Paul Soskin, program director for Summit host, DecomWorld.
“D&A spend is usually seen as dead money, but the opportunity for the service sector will be a major source of relief as operators come to grips with one of the harshest downturns we’ve seen.”
He added: “We’re predicting a real gold rush as operators of all sizes recognize the need for new tools, technology and project support if they’re to avoid succumbing to the chronic D&A overspends they’ve made since the very first well was abandoned.”
New to the 8th Annual Summit is a special workshop on the decommissioning of Shell’s landmark North Sea Brent Field, allowing delegates to evaluate the best practices integrated into the final D&A plans.
Sessions lead by Shell, Chevron and Anadarko will provide exclusive insights on how to bring forward D&A cost planning to increase the dollar return of all expenditure.
More than 600 D&A executives, specialists and regulation and policy makers are expected to gather and share essential information, with attendance already up by more than 10% on last year, organizers said.
“As forecasts of the oil price remain grim, forecasted spend on decommissioning continues to rise, as evidenced by the latest market analysis in the UK North Sea,” said Paul Soskin. “We know that operators are demanding better solutions and more joined-up thinking from the D&A supply chain in order to drive down the unwelcome expenditure of D&A activity.
“This year’s Summit will be a crucial opportunity to tap into the best and latest thinking on new technologies and strategies, both for operators and service providers, to make the most of a challenging situation.”