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£38 million National Decommissioning Centre officially opens in Aberdeenshire

Friday January 11th 2019 at 11:52 AM


A £38 million National Decommissioning Centre in Aberdeenshire has been officially opened.

The facility in Newburgh is hoped to help reduce costs, extend the lifespan of oil fields and assets and overhaul the way decommissioning projects in the North Sea are tackled.

Across the UK Continental Shelf in the next decade, 100 platforms and more than 5,700km of pipelines are expected to be shut down – valued at around £58 billion of work.

In 2016, the industry was tasked with reducing that price tag by at least 35% – it’s hoped the NDC will contribute towards that effort.

Run jointly by the Oil and Gas Technology Centre and the University of Aberdeen, the facility houses the most powerful industrial laster of any academic institution in the UK.

It also has areas for technology trials and rapid prototyping, as well as a vessel capable of simulating ocean depths of 6,5000m, an indoor freshwater immersion tank, environmental chambers and hanger space.

Colette Cohen, Chief Executive Officer, the Oil & Gas Technology Centre, said: “We’re delighted to be working in partnership with the University of Aberdeen to establish the National Decommissioning Centre. Together we’ll provide access to the brightest and best academic minds and help companies accelerate new technologies that transform mature field management and decommissioning.

“The Centre will partner with industry and academia to deliver technology, share knowledge and provide thought leadership to reduce costs, extend field life, and challenge the conventional approach to decommissioning. We’re now talking with several anchor companies to co-invest in this exciting new facility and help shape our research programme.

“With the global decommissioning market set to grow to £80bn over the next decade, we will work with supply chain companies and technology developers in Scotland, and across the UK, to help them develop the capability to meet domestic demand and drive export growth across the world.”

George Boyne, Principal of the University of Aberdeen, said: “The University’s partnership with the OGTC is testament to our shared commitment to establish the National Decommissioning Centre as a global leader in research and development, building on this region’s strong track record in innovation in industry and the sciences.

“Our research programmes will nurture academic and technical expertise through PhD opportunities that will anchor research talent here in the north-east of Scotland, while the University’s Masters programme and continuous professional development course in decommissioning will provide companies with the opportunity to upskill their staff.

“By building expertise at all levels – academic and within industry – we will create competitive advantage for the oil and gas industry, and for decommissioning challenges in the wider energy sector, for example offshore renewables.

“I am delighted that the University is part of this exciting project and look forward to a bright and successful future.”

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