Oil dismantling costs rocket

THE COST of dismantling the vast oil and gas infrastructure in the North Sea could reach a staggering £47.5 billion over the next 30 years.

A report by leading energy consultants Douglas-Westwood and Deloitte’s has dramatically increased previous estimates of the potential decommissioning bonanza for British companies.

Last October, the two companies published a report estimating that the cost on the UK Continental Shelf was likely to reach £19bn.

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But the consultants told a conference in Aberdeen yesterday that new estimates showed the likely cost in British waters alone was likely to soar to £30.2bn and to £47.5bn when taking into account Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands and Ireland. Almost 8,000 wells will have to be capped.