Estimated cost of oil and gas decommissioning down to £51bn

The estimated cost of decommissioning the UK Continental Shelf’s remaining oil and gas infrastructure has been scaled down to £51 billion from almost £60 billion two years ago.

The Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) said its analysis shows “strong progress” towards the industry and government target of reducing decommissioning costs by at least 35%.

The body attributed the drop to continued improvement in planning and execution practices.

Estimated decommissioning costs reduced to £51 billion in 2019, compared to £59.7 billion in 2017, despite including more assets and infrastructure.

Comparing the same inventory as 2017, estimated costs reduced 17% to £49 billion.

OGA head of decommissioning Nils Cohrs said: “It’s really good news that industry is now halfway towards the collective target in just two years.

“Better capability and experience is providing greater certainty of actual UK decommissioning costs with several operators already achieving significant cost savings through adopting different approaches, learning and sharing with others, and challenging previous norms.

“The supply chain is also bringing new solutions to the market in terms of pricing structures, business models and technology.”

The UKCS Decommissioning Cost Estimate 2019 Report will be published in full in July.