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5,000 oil wells face closure

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By Andrew Bolger

Published: March 12 2009 02:00 | Last updated: March 12 2009 02:00

Almost 5,000 platform wells and subsea wells in the North Sea will have to be decommissioned, most of them over the next 15 years, UK Oil & Gas said.

A report commissioned by the industry body estimated there would be a £15bn market for the services needed to “abandon” 3,725 platform wells and 910 subsea wells.

Paul Dymond, Oil & Gas UK’s operations director, said that in spite of improved oil and gas recovery techniques delaying decommissioning in many cases, some abandonment projects were already going ahead on the Miller, Brent and Indefatigable fields.

Jules Schoenmakers of Shell said: “Operators are looking for breakthrough technologies and new approaches in this emerging business. The size of the market appears large enough to support many businesses and teams of specialised well abandonment professionals for several decades.”

Andrew Bolger

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