10/03/2021 - 06:00

NERA to launch decommissioning centre

10/03/2021 - 06:00

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Developing a technology road map and finding options for local recycling will be two initial projects of a new decommissioning centre for the oil and gas industry.

NERA to launch decommissioning centre
All of this equipment will eventually need to disappear. Photo: Woodside

Developing a technology road map and finding options for local recycling will be two initial projects of a new decommissioning centre for the oil and gas industry. 

Industry body National Energy Resources Australia will launch the Centre of Decommissioning Australia at the AOG Energy Conference today.

Advocates say it will help make Australia a knowledge hub for decommissioning work globally.

The centre will coordinate research and planning for an expected $50 billion decommissioning bill for the oil and gas industry over 50 years.

Those costs become necessary as equipment and plants need to be deconstructed and removed from environments at the end of their lives.

A recent example of the challenge was the Northern Endeavour offshore vessel.

The company which operated the field went into administration, so the federal government had to step in to cover the bill.

Chevron, Woodside Energy, Santos Limited, Esso Australia, BHP, Baker Hughes and Curtin University are among the organisations which will contribute to the centre.

NERA chief executive Miranda Taylor said the centre would aid in navigating a multi-generational challenge for Australia.

“CODA will play a critical role in transforming our approach to late life planning and decommissioning to maximise the value for Australia,” Ms Taylor said.

“NERA is an expert facilitator, bringing our stakeholders together to work on collaborative solutions, like those required to reduce decommissioning costs, create opportunity for local suppliers and improve our understanding of the impact of decommissioning decisions.” 

The federal Department of Industry recently consulted on changes to its framework for decommissioning, which closed in January.

Work from CSIRO has previously suggested offshore rigs could be used to create artificial reefs for fishers, while Henderson-based Subcon used old oil and gas structures to create the King Reef near Exmouth in 2018.

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