Challenge

Build up of marine fouling on subsea structures leads to economic losses for marine industries including the oil and gas and decommissioning sectors.

Project Aim

To isolate antifouling (AF) active compounds from marine invertebrates with the potential use as environmentally friendly AF agents.

Project Outline

Marine invertebrates are known to produce interesting compounds including chemical defense compounds to protect themselves from predators and to prevent other organisms from settling on their surfaces. These compounds could be non-toxic alternatives to currently used antifouling agents which accumulate in the marine environment and are toxic to non-target species according to recent studies.

Status

Marine invertebrate extracts have been tested for their biofilm growth inhibition activity against five key marine bacterial species which are involved in the biofilm formation process in marine and estuarine environments. Purification steps are now underway to find the individual compounds responsible for the bioactivity.

Project Team

Academic Team:

Company Partner: Tritonia Scientific Ltd

Funder:
NDC (NZTC & UoA)

Challenge
It is complex to quantify the outcomes of cost, duration and environmental impact when comparing different decommissioning strategies for any given offshore project.

Project Aim
Develop a decision support system whereby a user can input a description of offshore assets and produce a set of optimal decommissioning strategies for reaching an end of life.

Project Outline
Many decisions are required to complete a decommissioning project. A few key examples include decisions on reuse, selection of removal technologies, operational logistics, and choices of supporting facilities such as ports and decommissioning yards. The first part of this study involved producing a data model to describe the main types asset from the oil and gas industry along with the attributed site information. The next stage developed a work breakdown description of activities and events that can be arranged to form alternative project schedules. These events were then able to be modelled for evaluating cost, time and environmental metrics for a given schedule. The final stages of the project are focused on optimizing the project decisions to produce a set of candidate schedules and establishing a graphical user interface for the tool.

Status
The project has been successful in producing a data framework for describing offshore units and the activities of decommissioning.  A resource constrained project scheduling model is being used to evaluate and optimise different schedules using a novel MATLAB GUI software tool.

Project Team

Academic Team:

Funder :

NDC (NZTC & UoA)

Challenge
To quantify the volume and type of GHG emissions produced during oil and gas decommissioning activities.

Project Aim
To holistically quantify GHG emissions from oil and gas decommissioning activity.

Project Outline
Decommissioning is a GHG intensive process with marine operations requiring large equipment and many ship-miles and operating time. There are GHG costs associated with waste disposal and recycling of materials. The GHG emissions caused by the decommissioning process can be very high and depend on the amount of infrastructure removed and methods used. Currently the GHG emissions associated with decommissioning are not evaluated in-depth as the life cycle assessment process is complex. This omission conflicts with the law to reduce UK GHG emissions to Net Zero by 2050.

Status
The project is in it’s final year. The first article ‘Quantifying greenhouse gas emissions from decommissioned oil and gas structures: Can current policy meet Net Zero goals’ is published with the journal ‘Energy Policy’ and is available at: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0301421521005826

Project Team

Academic Team:

Funder :
NDC (NZTC & UoA)

Challenge
Oil and gas infrastructure provides important network of hard substrates that facilitates stepping-stone migration for both native species and non-native marine invasive species. Decommissioning can therefore impact the maintenance of biodiversity and ecosystem function, connectivity between features such as marine protected areas (MPAs) and the emergence and spread of invasive species.

Project Aim
To develop next-generation molecular approaches such as environmental DNA (eDNA) metabarcoding to characterise species assemblages on oil and gas infrastructure and infer patterns of dispersal in relation to oceanographic currents and features, established MPAs and existing infrastructure.

Status
We are collating a suite of genome sequences for key native and invasive species to act as barcodes to detect their presence and spread in relation to decommissioning activities.

Project Team

Academic Team:

Funder :

NDC (NZTC & UoA)

Challenge

Subsea bundles are complex forms of pipelines usually having large diameters which poses an issue when it comes to decommissioning. Several bundles are larger than 1m in diameter.

Project Aim

To identify a viable approach to decommission subsea bundles. The aspects of cutting bundles is currently being assessed.

Project Outline

Significant challenges are arising in the field of decommissioning of subsea bundles. Several techniques that are currently applied to the traditional pipelines (either for decommissioning or protection) are being discussed in terms of their viability for the decommissioning of the bundles. Some of the techniques considered are removal by cutting and lifting, removal by floating and towing, trenching, and reusing at another location. However, those techniques are still not fully developed and researched to be scaled and applied to the bundles. This project investigates the viability of cutting and lifting the bundles for the purpose of decommissioning.

Status

  • Finite element analysis is being conducted to model cutting a subsea bundle and estimate the required forces
  • The concepts of hydraulic and guillotine shearing are being investigated

Project Team

Academic Team:

Funder :

NDC (NZTC & UoA)

Challenge

UK legislation gives the Government powers to require oil and gas licensees to provide financial security to prevent taxpayers from funding decommissioning liabilities. The question is: What are the benefits and drawbacks of the accepted instruments to procure financial security?

Project Aim

To provide a comparative assessment of the different instruments to procure financial security for decommissioning liability. UK legislation accepts the following: a charge over an asset, a cash deposit, a performance bond, an insurance policy, a letter of credit, and a trust fund.

Project Outline and Status

A financial simulation model of five oil fields designed to be representative of recent UKCS assets has been built. The model evaluates the effect of oil price uncertainty, decline rates and mothballing. Further work will involve creating a mathematical optimization model to assess the decision to cease production and how this relates to the financial security instruments. Finally, possible solutions for residual liability in perpetuity will be explored. An extended abstract on the effect of oil price uncertainty has been presented at the 2021 International Association for Energy Economics Conference and a paper is currently under review for publication in The Energy Journal.

Project Team

Academic Team:

Funder :

NDC (NZTC & UoA)

Challenge

Mercury (Hg) is a contaminant associated with oil and gas production. Although risks during production are managed, the environmental risks of Hg during decommissioning procedures are less well understood.

Project Aim

To quantify the environmental behaviour of Hg at the marine sediment/water interface.

Project Outline

The mobility of Hg species will be judged on the comparative assessment of their behaviour (leaching, diffusion and fractionation) in marine sediments. The bioavailability of Hg will be monitored by diffuse gradient in thin film (DGTs) and bioluminescent biosensors.

Status

The development of a large-scale Hg specific environmental model has helped to bridge the gap between laboratory scale measurements and holistic environmental impacts. The delivery of a newly purchased dedicated Hg analyser is expected to augment and accelerate laboratory work.

Project Team

Academic Team:

Company Partner : Chevron

  • Dr Paul Bireta

Funder : Chevron UK Ltd

Challenge

Corrosion is one of the critical degradation mechanisms for pipelines left in place. Sulphate reducing bacteria (SRB) have been reported to significantly influence corrosion rates. However, there is limited knowledge on how these microorganisms can influence the long-term structural integrity of decommissioned subsea pipelines.

Project Aim

To develop a protocol for predicting the long-term structural performance of decommissioned subsea pipelines considering the effect of microbiologically influenced corrosion by SRB.

Project Outline

Experiments will be carried out to predict the long-term SRB influenced corrosion of left-in-place structures in a subsea environment. The results from the corrosion experiments together with data from mechanical and metallography tests will be used to conduct detailed parametric numerical analysis of the degradation of the structures.  State of the art reliability analysis techniques will be developed, and used in combination with the results from the experiments and numerical analyses, to formulate a robust framework for predicting the long-term structural performance of left-in-place subsea pipelines.

Status

  • Preliminary mechanical tests and metallographic analysis have been performed on API 5L X65 material
  • Developed an experimental protocol for SRB induced corrosion tests and experimental set up will soon commence
  • Numerical analyses have commenced and preliminary results have quantified the difference in collapse pressures of pipelines due to non-uniform and uniform corrosion for the same average corrosion depths.
  • Preliminary reliability studies to determine how key variables affect structural integrity have commenced.

Project Team

Academic Team:

Company Partner : Chevron

  • A D Brixton & P Oliver

Funder : Chevron

Challenge

Oil and Gas Structures (OGSs) in the tropics are home to abundant and diverse fish communities.  In the era of decommissioning, the fish habitat value of these structures must be determined to preserve associated economic and ecological benefits. This in turn demands profiling the distribution of structure-associated fishes, using effective acoustic & optic methods.

Project Aim

To develop and implement acoustic & optic methods for surveying the horizontal and vertical distributions of OGS-associated fishes.

Project Outline

Phase One:  Analysis of stereo-video and imaging sonar footage collected on an artificial reef off Perth, Australia (active).

Phase Two: Deployment of stereo-video and imaging sonar on OGSs in Thailand and Australia (active).

Project Team

Academic Team:

Company Partner: Chevron

  • Dr T Elsdon, Dr M Marnane & P Oliver

Funder : Chevron

GNPC logoChallenge

Limited research focused on developing unified approach to evaluate interacting corrosion clusters in pipelines, which behave distinctively different from single corrosion defects.

Project Aim

To develop an appropriate and unified framework for the integrity assessment of spatially varying pipeline interacting corrosion defect models to improve reliability estimates by developing computationally efficient modelling schemes.

Project Outline

A multi-stage integrity assessment approach considering the probabilistic and stochastic  finite element-based reliability methods (PFERM & SFERM) will attempt to examine the behaviour of interacting corrosion cluster defects. Machine learning methods would be employed to reduce the computational simulation time.

Status

  • Deterministic assessment of ideal corrosion clusters is currently being studied with novel defect shapes.
  • Studies on the suitability of various machine learning models is in progress.

Project Team

Academic Team:

Funder :

GNPC Foundation

Challenge
The risk of in situ decommissioning to fisheries is a major factor in pipeline decommissioning decisions.  Current fisheries risk assessments generally use fishing data with a low spatial and/or temporal resolution, and do not consider impacts beyond injuries and fatalities. Furthermore, snagging risk factors (gear type, soil condition), and how they translate to different outcomes when snagging occurs are poorly understood.

Project Aim

Develop a fisheries snagging risk model for decommissioning pipelines in the North Sea.

Project Outline

This 3.5-year PhD project will be delivered through four work-packages;

WP1: Quantify snagging events and fisheries interactions with subsea pipelines;

WP2: Analysis of North Sea pipeline properties, fishing and soil conditions;

WP3: Development of a Finite Element model;

WP4: Basin-scale assessment of fisheries impacts and risks under pipeline decommissioning scenarios.

Status

This project will start August 2022.

Project Team

Academic Team:

Company Partner: MSS

  • Dr Sally Rouse

Funder: MSS, NDC (NZTC & UoA)

Challenge

To deliver innovation, impact and technical development in the field of floating offshore wind, which is vital for achieving net zero and energy transition goals.

Project Aim

Investigate and inform approaches to offshore wind development and maintenance that have the potential to bring significant improvements to current processes as well as cost savings to industry.

Project Outline

Develop Simulation of Floating Offshore Wind Marine Operations

Status

The scope for the PhD project has been finalized and agreed.  Studentship recruitment has started.  Student will start Sept/Oct 2022 for 3.5 years.

Project Team

Academic Team:

  • Dr Marcin Kapitaniak- marcin.kapitaniak@abdn.ac.uk
  • Prof Richard Neilson
  • Prof Ana Ivanovic
  • Dr Vahid Vaziri
  • Dr Rodrigo Martinez
  • Dr Peter Dunning
  • Dr Antonios Karadimos
  • Prof Curran Crawford (Uni of Victoria, Canada)

Company Partner: ORE Catapult

  • Dr Luke Eatough & Dr Daniel Milano

Funder : ORE Catapult, NDC (NZTC & UoA)

Challenge

To deliver innovation, impact and technical development in the field of floating offshore wind, which is vital for achieving net zero and energy transition goals.

Project Aim

Investigate and inform approaches to offshore wind development and maintenance that have the potential to bring significant improvements to current processes as well as cost savings to industry.

Project Outline

Develop Environmental Impact of Floating Offshore Wind

Status

The scope for the PhD project has been finalized and agreed.  Studentship recruitment has started.  Student will start Sept/Oct 2022 for 3.5 years.

Project Team

Academic Team:

  • Dr Marcin Kapitaniak- marcin.kapitaniak@abdn.ac.uk
  • Prof Richard Neilson
  • Prof Ana Ivanovic
  • Dr Vahid Vaziri
  • Dr Rodrigo Martinez
  • Dr Peter Dunning
  • Dr Antonios Karadimos
  • Prof Curran Crawford (Uni of Victoria, Canada)

Company Partner: ORE Catapult

  • Dr Luke Eatough & Dr Daniel Milano

Funder : ORE Catapult, NDC (NZTC & UoA)

Challenge

To deliver innovation, impact and technical development in the field of floating offshore wind, which is vital for achieving net zero and energy transition goals.

Project Aim

Investigate and inform approaches to offshore wind development and maintenance that have the potential to bring significant improvements to current processes as well as cost savings to industry.

Project Outline

Develop Multi-objective Optimisation of Floating Offshore Wind Mooring/Anchor Systems

Status

The scope for the PhD project has been finalized and agreed.  Studentship recruitment has started.  Student will start Sept/Oct 2022 for 3.5 years.

Project Team

Academic Team:

  • Dr Marcin Kapitaniak- marcin.kapitaniak@abdn.ac.uk
  • Prof Richard Neilson
  • Prof Ana Ivanovic
  • Dr Vahid Vaziri
  • Dr Rodrigo Martinez
  • Dr Peter Dunning
  • Dr Antonios Karadimos
  • Prof Curran Crawford (Uni of Victoria, Canada)

Company Partner: ORE Catapult

  • Dr Luke Eatough & Dr Daniel Milano

Funder : ORE Catapult, NDC (NZTC & UoA)