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Aging Offshore Fields Demand New Thinking

Photo courtesy of Allseas Group.
The Pieter Schelte docked at Daewoo Shipyard during final fitting before sailing to a yard in Rotterdam for installation of topsides lift systems on the front part of the hulls.  These contact points are designed to eliminate the impact of wave action as the ship rises to make the lift. 

When he started his firm focused on removing obsolete offshore structures, Brian Twomey chose the name: Reverse Engineering Services. The thinking was that taking out a structure is like building it, but in reverse.

Based on a career spent planning, managing, analyzing, and teaching classes on decommissioning, the managing director of Reverse Engineering has concluded: “It is the wrong name.”

“I started out thinking decommissioning is the reverse of installation; it is not,” Twomey said. “The first thing to know about decommissioning is there is a lot of uncertainty and unknowns that have developed over time due to wear and tear, changes, the environment, and loading all this other stuff” on the structure.

Those complications can lead to costly jobs and budget overruns when plugging wells and removing platforms. That adds to the pain of an obligation with no return on the investment.

“You are not really making money taking the platform out. You have made the money already,” said Jon Khachaturian, president and chief executive officer of Versabar. “We constantly hear: ‘We are going to take it out but we are going to do one more thing.’”

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Aging Offshore Fields Demand New Thinking

Stephen Rassenfoss, JPT Emerging Technology Senior Editor

01 November 2014

Volume: 66 | Issue: 11

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