Decommissioning Insight 2015


Figure 17: Forecast Number of Topside Modules to be Removed in the Central and Northern North Sea/West of Shetland


Increased Uncertainty in Forecasts








Number of Topside Modules




2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023 2024

Source: Oil & Gas UK

Weight (Tonnes) 2015 to 2024

Number 2015 to 2024

Total Expenditure 2015 to 2024

Topside removal


255modules on 22 platforms

£1.1 billion

Southern North Sea and Irish Sea Over the next decade, £250 million is forecast to be spent on removing 66 topside modules in these areas (see Figure 18 opposite). This is a decrease on the forecast in the 2014 report as some activity shifts out of the survey timeframe. The average weight of the 57 platforms to be removed in the next decade is almost 1,400 tonnes. While large heavy-lift vessels can be used for removal, smaller barges are also capable of lifting this weight. The single-lift method is likely to be the most commonly used in these regions due to the smaller structure size. In some cases, the topside and substructure can be removed together in one lift, however, for the majority of platforms, the topside and substructure will be removed separately. In contrast to the CNS and NNS/WofS regions, the near-term forecast has changed significantly in the SNS and Irish Sea since the 2014 report. In 2016 and 2017, there is an increase as a result of new topside removals, whereas, in 2018 and 2019, there has been a decline as some projects are deferred. These shifts in the near-term could reflect the shorter lead times for removal in these regions, allowing schedules to be changed at shorter notice. This is due to the generally smaller projects and less challenging conditions.

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