From the Editor, 1/2 2010

Published Feb 12, 2010
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Cover 1/2 2010

What Goes Up ...

Decommissioning across the North Sea has begun to intensify. Although many fields have been productive far longer than anticipated, the inevitable need to remove offshore facilities remains.

So, for this issue, we’ve taken a look at some of the key decommissioning companies based in the Norwegian sector of the North Sea.

First, we met with the AF Decom Offshore business unit to find out more about their AF Miljøbase Vats (AF Environmental Base Vats), which they’ve developed into Europe’s largest, most modern centre for the on-shore processing of installations from decommissioned offshore fields. Not only is the 80,000-square-metres base capable of dealing with the largest structures, its recycling rate has been in the impressive range of 98 percent.

We also visited the offices of Master Marine to find out more about the company’s two jack up vessels – Service Jack 1 and 2. The first is now on the water at Drydocks World Graha Shipyard in Batam, Indonesia, and will soon be on its way to Eydehavn, Norway for completion. The flexibility of the Service Jacks is undeniable – with tremendous lifting capability and huge decks, the vessels will be busy for both installation and decommissioning work in the coming years.

We also hear from Cutting Underwater Technologies (CUT), a specialist cutting services provider to the decommissioning industry. The company has developed new machines and methodologies to complete a major decommissioning project in the UK North Sea sector, and the work involved CUT using its innovative diamond wire technology.

As gas production increases, so too does the need for reliable, economic gas transportation. Corus Tubes Energy describes the challenges that must be met by pipeline manufacturers, especially as those due to the harsh conditions encountered when transporting gas subsea.

In mid January the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy announced the offerings for Awards in Predefined Areas (APA) 2009, and we’ve taken a look at the breakdown of the offers. Although the number of companies participating in the award process was down for this round, the number of licenses offered was slightly higher than last year’s APA.

And speaking of licensing rounds, we hear from software producer Xait that their XaitPorter, which gives companies the real-time ability to work several people on the same document simultaneously, was used by more than 90 percent of the applicants for the 20th Licensing Round and APA 2009.

Looking forward, we include a preview of the coming Underwater Technology Conference – UTC 2010. Since 1980, UTC has been hosted by the Underwater Technology Foundation – UTF – and we spoke with Henning Bødtker, Chairman of the UTF Board, who filled us in on what to expect this coming spring at Bergen’s Grieghallen in April.

As we finish up this issue, we’ve already begun to look to the spring, making preparations to include articles of interest for those who are planning to attend UTC 2010 as well as the Offshore Technologies Conference in Houston – OTC 2010 – in early May.

If you have something you’d like to tell our readers – whether they’re attending UTC, OTC or any of the other great spring conferences, drop us a line!

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