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Decommissioning subsea infrastructure – geotechnical considerations

April 2016

Decommissioning subsea infrastructure – geotechnical considerations

Andy Small

Between now and 2040, around one-sixth of approximately 470 North Sea installations will require decommissioning. Cost estimates for undertaking this mammoth scale of work is rising exponentially - the total UK offshore decommissioning expenditure is now predicted to hit £50 billion by 2055, according to Oil & Gas UK’s Activity Survey 2016. As all subsea infrastructures interact with the seabed in some manner, understanding the geotechnical aspects and managing geotechnical risk will be of significant benefit to executing decommissioning projects successfully and cost-efficiently.

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Good vibrations

February 2016

Good vibrations

Sandy Hutchison

No-one wants to pick-up bad vibes whether it’s the inference in something said, that gut feeling something isn’t quite right or experience of a similar previous situation which turned unpleasant. As well as the metaphorical ‘bad vibes’ that can affect our daily lives, the oil and gas industry has had to contend with literal bad vibes causing significant problems to the integrity of offshore platforms, pipework and associated subsea equipment.

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XMET – Four seasons in one day

January 2016

XMET – Four seasons in one day

Chris Lovell

The problem
The weather is infamously the UK’s favourite subject of conversation, and nowhere more so than in the offshore industries. Metocean conditions on the UKCS can be extreme as well as being ever-variable. Of these two characteristics, it is the impact of variability that is the hardest to accurately quantify on offshore intervention campaigns, whether greenfield development, brownfield modification or decommissioning projects.

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Come on feel the noise!

December 2015

Come on feel the noise!

Reuben Ditchburn

Noise in the workplace is often seen as the Justin Bieber of safety concerns; whilst most people are now aware of it, the temptation can be to simply stick your fingers in your ears and pretend it doesn’t exist.

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De-risking offshore installation

November 2015

De-risking offshore installation

Chris Jones

Our recent experience has shown that deck handling may actually prove to be a period of particularly high risk to a subsea product during installation. These complex operations are often engineered through the use of standardised calculations or through simplistic modelling. With ongoing advances in Finite Element Analysis (FEA) software, these operations can now be modelled in significantly more detail. This can mitigate risks prior to mobilisation and optimise operability during handling and installation. Such detailed modelling can remove unnecessary conservatism and potentially allow installation in increased weather windows.

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Let’s take you for a spin

November 2015

Let’s take you for a spin

Amedeo Marcotulli

Imagine that you are a caterpillar munching on a succulent leaf at the tip of a lush tree in the woods. Life is simple. You look back and remember a purposeful climb to reach that perfect leaf, not realising the millions of possible options you left behind at every branch you picked. In hindsight, your climb was a linear journey from the root to the ultimate lunch. However, the hovering crow that is about to eat you knows that your leaf is not so unique.

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Process Safety Analysis versus HAZOP

November 2015

Process Safety Analysis versus HAZOP

Colin McWhirr

Operators are facing costly and time consuming production and regulatory challenges that require a clever approach to managing technical safety and risk.

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Asset management – what does it mean?

October 2015

Asset management – what does it mean?

John Taylor

This blog is the first in a series on Asset Management and Technical Integrity Assurance. It aims to generate discussion on what exactly the term means, how it’s perceived, its impact and effectiveness in today’s ever-changing energy sector. It will also explore the aspects that collectively integrate to provide a robust asset management structure in order to provide stable operations and a cost-effective business model.

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You can’t have your cake and eat it!

September 2015

You can’t have your cake and eat it!

Amedeo Marcotulli

Cost reduction in the oil and gas industry is now top of the agenda as we face the consequences of the market downturn and a volatile oil price. That’s not surprising or unusual, but where can cuts be made and what affect will it have? Very rarely can we achieve a cost reduction that does not affect the functional requirements of the system. Generally, every cut generates a trade-off on performance or other aspects of the life of field economics.

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Demystifying decommissioning

August 2015

Demystifying decommissioning

Caroline Laurenson

Decommissioning North Sea facilities is projected to cost £35 billion over the next two decades with £1 billion spent by UK producers last year, according to Oil & Gas UK. The rate of decommissioning activity is accelerating and rising costs against the backdrop of a low oil price is impacting further. Next year will see the culmination of a decade of planning as Shell’s Brent Delta platform topsides is removed. The industry is discussing the best way to further collaborate to drive efficiencies.

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Subsea processing – the drive to standardise

August 2015

Subsea processing – the drive to standardise

Luca Sintini

It is clear that despite the current difficulties facing the subsea sector due to low oil prices and rising costs, interest in subsea processing, such as boosting and compression, subsea separation and raw seawater treatment and injection, will continue to gain momentum to deliver cost-efficiencies and optimisation of systems.

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Assessing corrosion and erosion in pipelines

July 2015

Assessing corrosion and erosion in pipelines

Dr. Mark Hutchinson

Mark has devised an innovative technique for assessing corrosion and erosion in pipelines that can provide clients with a much greater degree of accuracy.

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