UK North Sea to see 150 rigs scrapped in coming decade

Close to 150 oil platforms in the UK’s North Sea will be scrapped in the next 10 years, according to new analysis from Douglas-Westwood.

“The time for many North Sea offshore oil and gas platforms to be decommissioned is fast approaching, with the oil price collapse bringing the commerciality of numerous fields into question,” Douglas-Westwood stated.

Another consultancy, Wood Mackenzie, stated on Friday that, at recent prices, one in seven barrels of oil being produced in UK waters is at a cash loss.

Wood Mackenzie predicts that the annual decommissioning spend will surpass oilfield development spending from 2019 onwards.

Another assessment of the North Sea, by Company Watch and commissioned by the Financial Times, maintains 50% of oil and gas companies with North Sea operations are now loss-making, with total losses for the past 12 months adding up to £6.4bn ($9.3bn).


Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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