Oil and Gas Offshore Decommissioning Conference

The race to net zero is set to dominate the OGUK Offshore Decommissioning Conference this week following the recent publication of the Government’s Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution.

More than 1,000 delegates, including Aberdeen Harbour Board’s decommissioning expert Marlene Mitchell, are expecting conversations to focus on green finance and how the industry will continue to invest in research and development to bring down the cost of energy transition in decommissioning, and what role it will play in the launch of the UK Government’s £1 billion Net Zero Innovation Portfolio.

Marlene said: “The Energy White Paper will be a hot topic at the conference because the industry hasn’t seen one for over 10 years. It sets out how the transformation of our energy system will drive economic growth and jobs whilst reducing emissions, something that all the delegates have been doing quietly and in collaboration for many years.

“This conference brings together people from all over the world, providing a platform for sophisticated conversations about how we collaborate to be regionally active to meet global net zero ambitions. Environmental consciousness will also be palpable as speakers including myself discuss how we will contribute to meeting societal expectations through our work in decommissioning.”

Over the last 20 years, Aberdeen Harbour Board has invested more than £200million in its North Harbour infrastructure including deepening and widening its access channel and the development of longer and deeper quays to support the changing needs of its varied and valued port community.

Decommissioning has been a core offering at the Harbour for more than two decades and today the Trust Port is undergoing a further £350milion transformation to bolster its support in meeting net zero ambitions and that of the local and global supply chain, whose work is integral to many industries on and offshore. A window of opportunity exists to ensure the Harbour maximises the potential of this nationally important development and with support at this time, it can realise the true green port potential of these facilities and fully support and facilitate the work being carried out through the Energy Transition Fund and the Aberdeen City Region deal.

“Aberdeen Harbour is committed to early involvement in the Energy Transition space and how we can support all sectors, including decommissioning in a lower carbon future. There are short term easy wins that we are directly and indirectly engaging in today, in the form of alternative power sources and vessel fuels. But we are also working closely with a number of agencies and the wider supply chain to understand how we can drive solutions in future decommissioning activity whether in renewables, hydrogen and carbon capture areas.

“I am excited about Tech Zone as it was big draw for the conference in 2019, and I expect it will be well attended this year because there the world will see first-hand what the near future of offshore innovations will look like, evidencing that the industry is meeting objectives set out in the draft Regulatory Decommissioning Roadmap of 2019.

“Similarly, the Decommissioning in Practice session will be very interesting because we have a direct commercial impact on projects, so understanding how we can all come together to drive greater value will be crucial for us. I believe this links closely with the Energy Transition conversation. Working towards net zero targets today and in the future is essential in all aspects of our business but we know decommissioning in all its forms needs improvement so understanding strategic intent as well as innovative solutions that can be adopted to help us is essential.”