Dundee to welcome decommissioning firm

Dundee has moved a step closer to becoming the UK's hub for decommissioning with the news that an 'ambitious' business operating in the sector is to open its UK headquarters in the city.

The moves comes as Dundee seeks to become the UK's decommissioning hub. John Devlin.

Offshore Decommissioning Services (ODS) said the move comes as it seeks to focus on imminent requirements in the North Sea, accelerating efficiencies, and then extend its focus globally.

The firm was established in 2017, after more than a year of research and development (R&D) and conceptual design, by a team of oil and gas professionals with decades of engineering, construction and commissioning experience in the industry.

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It is developing specialist technology to support work regarding future North Sea oil and gas decommissioning projects, with work in hand to build a UK flagged multi-purpose heavy lift vessel to be named Moonraker 1. It will be delivered in 2021 to meet the anticipated escalation in North Sea decommissioning demand.

ODS highlighted “significant” investment in the vessel, which once in operation will be manned by a crew of 70 and can also provide pipeline and bundle removal along with offshore installation projects. Moonraker 1 will also be supported by a newly established engineering and logistics hub to be situated in Dundee.

ODS has been working with Dundeecom, a public-private partnership between Dundee City Council, DC Thomson and Forth Ports set up to establish Dundee as a multi-disciplinary, globally recognised centre of excellence in oil and gas decommissioning.

And ODS said it chose Dundee for its hub for its strong ability to accommodate a major share of North Sea decommissioning work.

It sees this as being due to the proximity to many UK North Sea oil and gas assets, rail and road links, port facilities, on-site supply chain, the city’s skilled workforce and local universities and colleges, which ODS believe will be vital in upskilling their workforce.

ODS chief executive Lee Johnson said: “It is ODS’ ambition to reduce the cost and time to decommission topsides, substructures and subsea infrastructure and we believe ODS, working with others in Dundee, can bring a holistic and commercially attractive decommissioning solution to the industry.

“We can deliver the Oil and Gas Authority strategy on cost reduction, regulatory compliance and contractual and commercial optimization from Dundee. We wanted Dundee to be our logistics base due to the strong potential R&D network, including academia and industry bodies as we [seek] synergies with businesses already located in the city. Access to local available, capable and cost effective labour force is also a major benefit for our business. We look forward to moving into Dundee next year.”

Callum Falconer, chief executive of Dundeecom, said ODS will be a key part of the city’s decommissioning offering. “With other complementary businesses already located in Dundee including Augean, Wellsafe Services and Oilmac, and with the Port of Dundee already providing an unrivalled location, space and infrastructure, we are without doubt establishing Dundee as the UK decommissioning hub.”