Oil & Gas News – Late November 2023

Estimated reading time 2 minutes

More than £20bn worth of work in only ten years, and more than half of it on the seabed and out of sight, is on offer to those wanting to become a link in the supply chain.

Removing a lot of kit from the North Sea is very expensive for the oil and gas industry, but can also be seen as a huge opportunity for a new sector, with global potential.  Over several decades, the North Sea Transition Authority - the UK government's agency - reckons the spend could be £40bn.

The latest assessment of the decommissioning of the North Sea's oil and gas facilities, published on Tuesday by industry body Offshore Energy UK (OEUK), suggests that the boom times are already under way.

This year is seeing a 37% increase in spend, to £2.2bn. More than £18bn of contracts are in the pipeline from 2024 to 2032.

That already represents one pound in every eight being spent in the UK oil and gas sector. That could rise to quarter of all spend by 2032, and as drilling and production continue their decline, more than half from 2040.

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Scotland's only oil refinery could cease operations as soon as 2025 under plans announced by owners Petroineos.  The company said Grangemouth had been facing significant challenges because of global market pressures.

Petroineos intends to turn the site into a fuels import terminal which would result in the loss of at least 400 jobs.  Work to transform the site is expected to take 18 months.

The refining business at Grangemouth is owned by Petroineos which is a joint venture between Chinese state-owned PetroChina and London-based Ineos.

About 2,000 people are directly employed at Grangemouth including 500 at the refinery, 450 on the Forties pipeline from the North Sea and a further 1,000 in the Ineos petrochemicals business.

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