Subsea Decommissioning is a rapidly changing process, and because of said regulatory and operator requirements, technology will continue to drive this sector of the offshore industry.
The book above was written in 1998 is a very solid core baseline for decommissioning, but as you read it and keep up with the industry, you quickly see that the game is changing as we speak.
Offshore wells are being drilled deeper and deeper and eventually will have to be decommissioned as well. This is pushing towards more and more breakthroughs and diverless ROV based cutting and decommissioning tools such as ROV Diamond Wire Saws.
Not to mention the different types of wells and subsea platforms/fields that all need to be decommissioned in different fashions. Assessing the situation, making a plan, performing the decom work, and removing all structure takes a different approach for different structures in an industry niche where there is always more than one way to skin a cat.
Many companies used to use explosives to severe structures, but we are seeing less and less of that in the industry due to environmental protection and corporate decisions by some of the major players to steer away from explosives.
The North Sea and the GOM seem to be paving the way for more and more standard policy globally, but it’s somewhat of a guessing game to see how other countries that will begin to enter the decommissioning market react/respond to some of these standards.
Long story short. The need for decommissioning will continue to rise and the decommissioning jobs will likely become more and more complicated. But, the work in the GOM and North Sea will provide a great educational experience to more efficiently and effectively decommission offshore/subsea structures across the globe as they age.