1999 Annual Report
Decommissioning in 1999 saw some physical activity instead of the political decision making which
dominated 1998. Brent Spar was finally cleaned, cut into sections and redeployed as a new quay
facility in Stavanger Harbour.
The Department of Trade and Industry published its Draft Guidelines for Decommissioning in June.
These incorporated the decision taken by OSPAR in 1998 (Decision 98/3) and UKOOA responded
with comments during the consultation phase. At year-end these guidelines had not been issued
in final form.
However, several Operators are starting to formulate decommissioning programmes and those
most advanced have joined to develop joint activities to further knowledge in the areas of public
consultation and technology. This group, the Early Decommissioning Synergy Group, (TEDS) is
supported by UKOOA and DTI. Early efforts to encourage developing technologies are showing
signs of success.
Both the work of this group and the UKOOA Decommissioning Committee will be co-ordinated
by a new body which is emerging from the Government led initiative, PILOT. A North Sea Decommissioning Group has resulted from this which has contractor representation as well
as industry and DTI input. The terms of reference for this group are being formulated.
It is expected that interest in decommissioning will heighten as the issues affecting the successful
execution of such programmes, especially for larger platforms, are worked and resolved. 1999 was
a year when the pace quickened, it will continue to accelerate.