OILPRICE | Energy companies have been slashing exploration and production budgets since the Covid-19 pandemic took hold and sent oil prices tumbling, but, with few profitable investment alternatives, operators are now likely to increase spending in decommissioning work. Rystad Energy estimates the total value of the global pool of decommissioning projects that will accumulate through 2024 could reach $42 billion. With an average asset age of 25 years, the Northwest European decommissioning market could grow 20% in annual commitments through 2022 if the current low oil prices don’t show signs of substantial recovery soon. In addition to a rapidly maturing asset base and low oil prices that erode commercial viability and potential life extensions, the North Sea decommissioning market will also be helped by favorable service contract prices.
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