Six oil and gas operators launch joint campaign to abandon wells in the North Sea for the first time
24 February 2021
Nexstep, the National platform for re-use & decommissioning of oil and gas infrastructure in the Netherlands, has over the last few years worked on a joint campaign for the decommissioning of gas wells in the Dutch North Sea. This month, Nexstep issued the invitation to tender to the market. For the first time in Dutch history, six oil and gas operators will jointly set up a major campaign to decommission wells.
It is known from various studies that cooperation in decommissioning can lead to significant efficiency improvements, and therefore also cost savings. Over the past two years, the operators have been working on a first joint campaign within the Nexstep partnership, with the help of EBN* and NOGEPA*. It was decided to start with a campaign for the removal of MLS (mud line suspension) wells, which are wells that were once drilled for exploration purposes, but never became producing wells. These wells are relatively simple or easier to remove than wells that are connected to a platform making these wells ideally suitable for a first campaign.
This month, NAM, Neptune Energy, ONE-Dyas, Petrogas, Total E&P Nederland and Wintershall Noordzee issued a joint tender for the decommissioning of wells. This is the first time that wells from different operators will be removed together in one campaign. Jacqueline Vaessen, General Manager Nexstep: "It is great that we succeeded in setting up this joint campaign. Special working groups from the oil and gas companies have worked very hard to make this happen. If everything goes according to plan, the project will start this year. Such collaboration offers advantages, such as a greater effect of the learning curve due to the larger number of wells being removed. Nexstep will therefore continue to explore the possibilities for new joint campaigns together with the operators.”
Nexstep, National Platform for Re-use & Decommissioning was established in 2017 by EBN and NOGEPA, respectively representing the state and the oil and gas operators. Nexstep is a collaborative umbrella organization that coordinates, facilitates and seeks dialogue on the safe, clean and efficient removal of oil and gas infrastructure in the Netherlands.
With its innovation agenda, Nexstep identifies new challenges and promotes technological developments where it is needed.