European Space Agency (ESA) is looking to use satellites to support the decommissioning of offshore oil, gas and renewables infrastructure
ESA has contracted BMT Environment to assess the feasibility of using space-based data to support the decommissioning of oil and gas production infrastructure, with some installations reaching their end of life after more than 40 years of service, and offshore renewable energy assets. Windfarms installed in the 1990s and early 2000s are approaching their end-of-life phase, particularly in Denmark and the UK.
ESA thinks Earth observation data from satellites can play a key role in decommissioning activities. Satellites can provide a regional overview of the maritime environment and allow operational data from decommissioning teams offshore to be interrogated in real time.
“Decommissioning activities need to be carefully handled to minimise environmental impact as they create operational and financial risk for the asset owner,” said BMT.
“This presents exciting opportunities for the European industry to create new commercial decommissioning solutions, enabled by space data, and through collaboration with decommissioning sector knowledge industry leaders,” BMT added.
Results of BMT’s technical feasibility study will establish a roadmap for implementing future ESA-driven services through follow-on demonstration projects. This study will provide accurate information relating to hazards, such as sea and weather conditions, maritime traffic and environmental pollution, reducing the cost of energy asset decommissioning by providing improved scenario planning in advance of these projects. Space-based data could help minimise and optimise vessel usage, resulting in reduced fuel use and emissions.
BMT Environment UK managing director Matthew Roberts expects the study to demonstrate how Earth observation data analysis and services can support the offshore decommissioning industry. He said BMT will work with 4 Earth Intelligence partners in this ground-breaking feasibility study.
This activity is funded through the UK Space Agency’s contribution to ESA’s Space Solutions programme.
Decommissioning projects, opportunities and sector technologies will be discussed during Riviera’s Annual Offshore Support Journal virtual conference and exhibition on 23 March - use this link to view the programme and register for this event