Seminar on sustainable decommissioning and repurposing of offshore infrastructure

The SFI REPO centre is seeking additional project partners

Karianne Skjæveland
Communication Manager
June 21, 2024
Offshore wind

On Thursday, June 20, Energy Transition Norway facilitated a seminar focused on the REPO project, which purpose is to identify future possibilities for Repurpose, Reuse and Recirculation of ageing offshore infrastructure.

As Norway transitions to a carbon-neutral future, repurposing aging offshore petroleum infrastructure should be seen as a key strategy.

Since 1971, 123 fields have been in production on the Norwegian Continental Shelf. The decommissioning phase has already begun, with 27 fields already having been shut down.

The total number of installations remains about 700, mostly comprising wells and subsea structures.

Capture of presentation
Ying Guo, Senior Business Developer IOR/CCUS/Renewable Energies at NORCE - Norwegian Research Centre

- Many platforms could have a much longer lifespan if repurposed in a smart way, sais Ying Guo, REPO project lead from NORCE Norwegian Research Centre.

Together with senior researcher Atle Blomgren, Guo is researching the potential for creating value from these aging structures without bringing them ashore, as this may not always be the best environmental option.

Although the main rule is that all fields must be removed, structures weighing over 10,000 tons may qualify for exemptions from removal rules if repurposed.

Concrete structures for floating offshore wind foundations will weigh more than 10,000 tons - thus making the REPO-case for floating offshore wind particularly interesting.

Aje Rihel from Esgian highlighted the REPO case for offshore wind, noting that it may not be as green as often perceived. He stressed that repurposing old oil and gas infrastructure is crucial for reducing the overall climate impact of offshore wind projects. The emissions associated with offshore wind are significant across all stages, from manufacturing and installation to maintenance and decommissioning.

By utilizing recycled materials or repurposing existing structures, it could be possible to reduce material usage by up to 20%, making a substantial environmental impact.

Another interesting REPO-case involves CCS.

Norway is expected to have more than about 100 CCS storage projects in the coming years according to the EU CCS ambitions,raising the possibility of repurposing existing oil and gas infrastructure fromthe Norwegian Continental Shelf for this purpose.

Offshore Norway, a key partner in the project, is working on collecting data on the number of platforms to be removed, their size, weight, and condition to determine their potential for reuse.

This involves building a database to inform partners about available structures and their conditions.

Anne-Lise Søyland from Offshore Norway pointed out that the industry is generally good at cleaning up after itself, with strict regulations for cleaning, purification, and monitoring.

Additionally, the seminar addressed the need to review regulations on decommissioning and circular economy practices to identify obstacles and potential incentives for increased reuse of offshore structures.

This proactive approach aims to ensurethat repurposing plays a significant role in Norway's transition to asustainable, carbon-neutral future.

The SFI REPO centre's mission is to overcome legal, economic, and environmental barriers to such an approach, while unlocking new opportunities for use in areas such as CCUS, wind power, and aquaculture.

The seminar aimed to provide valuable input and identify additional project partners, including both technology and service companies, for the REPO team which is preparing an application for SFI funding, with the step 1 deadline of September 18th, 2024. 

Currently the SFI REPO research partners include NORCE, University of Stavanger,University of Bergen, NHH, and Høgskulen på Vestlandet. Industrial partners are Energy Transition Norway, Ramsfjord Technology, Esgian, SEMCO, and Source Galileo. New partners are welcome to join and will also be invited.

Interested parties may contact Ying Guoat

Presentations from the seminar attached below.

Info for companies

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