Decommissioning firm aims to lead the way in £50 billion industry

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A decommissioning firm is confident it can lead the way in an industry likely to be worth £50 billion in the next 35 years.

Able UK’s group development director Neil Etherington spoke at an international conference in Aberdeen and told how its Tees Valley plant was undergoing major works to handle the work ahead.

Dealing with the many North Sea structures as they reach the end of their operations is going to be a costly and lengthy process and we are confident that Able Seaton Port will play a major role in meeting the challenge

Neil Etherington, Able UK’s group development director

The conference was organised by the industry’s independent organisation Decom North Sea. It examined the challenges and opportunities in offshore decommissioning, with costs forecast to reach in excess of £50billion over the next 35 years.

Mr Etherington said Able had “the benefit of long experience” in decommissioning and recycling structures at Seaton Port and had imported more than 60 structures for major clients, including leading oil and gas companies and the French and US Governments.

Able has been awarded the contract for the disposal of four offshore structures from the Shell-operated Brent field.

It will see three platform topsides, as well as a 400ft- high steel platform jacket, transported from over 100 miles north east of Scotland to Able Seaton Port, where they will be dismantled and recycled using the latest techniques and technologies.

Able is investing in a major programme of work at the facility, including construction of what will be one of Europe’s heaviest load bearing quays, enabling platform jackets and topside to be loaded on to it for dismantling.

The construction phase is generating in the region of 100 jobs and the recycling contract itself will create a further 100 new jobs