Let's talk

Pathfinder relaunch helps revitalise offshore energy supply chain

Posted on 13 May 2021

Pathfinder relaunch helps revitalise offshore energy supply chain
  • One-stop shop for future UKCS work and collaborative opportunities
  • Improved service will support Energy Transition
  • Sub-contractors benefit from details of Tier 1 contract awards
  • Maintenance & Operation contract opportunities added to the system

The Pathfinder website is attracting thousands of users and being widely praised throughout the industry following its relaunch on 1 April this year.

First launched in 2010 and moved to the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) in 2015, Pathfinder was already extensively used, but the wider scope of information it provides alongside better functionality has significantly improved the service. The site currently boasts more than 1,000 subscribers and there are more than 30 Operators with over 130 projects on the system.

Operators were previously required to upload details of projects, including contact details and a summary of the activity as well as latest contracts and collaboration opportunities, but the relaunch now incorporates extra information, including:

  • Details of which Tier 1 supplier has won a contract which helps smaller Suppliers to bid for sub-contracts
  • Collaboration Opportunities – Operators actively seeking suggestions for innovative solutions for challenges they face
  • Opportunities for suppliers to engage with operators on projects
  • More detailed information on projects including wells to be decommissioned and campaign opportunities
  • Regular email updates of opportunities to subscribers
  • Energy transition work, focusing on carbon capture and storage, offshore electrification, hydrogen and floating wind
  • Forward work plans, which provide details of upcoming tenders for operations and maintenance contracts, will shortly be available

Among the many contracts available on the relaunched site were over 50 wells from around 17 Operators due to be decommissioned in the near to medium term. A number of these were added by Operators after meetings with the OGA which raised ‘campaign’ work opportunities where more than one well could be decommissioned as part of a single workstream boosting efficiency and cutting overall costs.

A major area of activity that is featured in Pathfinder is decommissioning, and the improvements to this system are another part of the OGA’s actions to promote and drive the delivery in this area.

A primary focus for the OGA remains the timely and cost-efficient decommissioning of wells, whilst stimulating activity for the supply chain. The OGA is working with every UK operator to ensure they are progressing with action to decommission all of the 758 (577 development and 181 E&A) disused wells – on the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS).

Continuity of work is important to the supply chain and is a key factor in achieving cost reductions. Maintaining momentum will therefore be an ongoing focus for the OGA and we will use our regulatory powers to ensure operators decommission these legacy wells in a timely manner.

Supporting the drive to help Operators decommission cost-effectively and create opportunities for the supply chain, the OGA has also revised its Decommissioning Strategy.

The decommissioning process involves installing permanent barriers in the well and removing the uppermost section of the well to below seabed level. Decommissioning costs differ from well to well, but OGA Decommissioning Cost Benchmarks show the cost of decommissioning ranges from £2.5-7.3million.

Stuart Payne, OGA Director of Supply Chain, Decommissioning & HR said:

“A thriving supply chain is vital to maximising economic recovery and delivering a net zero future, and we are consistently told that firms don’t want charity, they just want visibility of upcoming work. We are delighted to have helped make this substantial body of work available at this difficult time, as we all know the impact that the pandemic has had on our industry.

“Everyone has to play their part to make this work, we appreciate the willingness of Operators to engage, and of the supply chain in coming forward with potential solutions.

“There is much more that needs to be done. Wells have to be decommissioned, and the supply chain needs work, this is not just part of the UK’s transition and journey to net zero but also a massive future export opportunity for our world-class supply chain - that is why we are focusing relentlessly on this area.”

Ryan Scott, Senior Manager, E&C & Projects for CNOOC International, said:

“We utilised OGA’s Pathfinder to engage with the Supply Chain and pursue an alternative contracting solution which has the potential to successfully develop our marginal Ravel discovery.”

Ole Udsen, Senior Commercial Manager, Maersk Decom, said:

“As a leading and innovative decom player, we use the monthly updates available in the Energy Pathfinder as a key source of intel and data. We appreciate the initiative taken by OGA to enhance this tool, which will help us in building and executing the multi-Operator campaigns which will be the next step in transforming the industry’s decommissioning cost performance.”