The Decommissioning and Abandonment Summit is held in Houston, Texas, February 20 to 21, 2018, at the Royal Sonesta Hotel. I had a chance to attend this conference, and although I mostly walked through the exhibits, it really amazed me how much technology and money revolves around this industry. The conference primarily addresses offshore oil wells.
Here is some of the stuff I learned.
- Decommissioning and abandonment is not a simple issue. It is not 100% leave everything behind nor rip everything up. Industry works with government, and its regulations, to determine the best case senario for shutting down a well in the ocean.
- The offshore oil well must be plugged properly after it can no longer produce. Special plugs are used to insure the well pressure does not leak out. The plug and the well are usually capped by concrete.
- Companies exist that evaluate the impact of the well and associated equipment on the ecosystem. Sometimes marine life finds a home in the subsea equipment and it is better to just abandon in place. Destroying such sea life can have ramifications in the fishing industry.
- Offshore platforms are often installed or removed via large barges. An entire platform can fit on top of these very large barges. The weight of the platform is counter balanced with water – ballast.
Attending this conference is quite educational. I must say I am glad that I attended. Click on the image above to learn more.