A REPORT by a body set up to manage the decommissioning and removal of Australia’s redundant offshore oil and gas infrastructure has made a series of high-level recommendations about future activities in Western Australia.

The Centre of Decommissioning Australia (CODA) labels itself as an independent initiative working with industry, government and the community to create a collaborative and sustainable approach to decommissioning Australia’s aging oil and gas infrastructure.

CODA’s own research shows there is more than US$40 billion of decommissioning work necessary over the coming 50 years in Australia – over half of which needs to start within the next decade, and approximately 60% will take place off the coast of WA.

The centre’s just-released study identifies the optimal location, size, capability, and characteristics of a suitable receival and dismantling yard to support the decommissioning work in WA which, it notes, presents a significant opportunity for local businesses participation.

At a high level, the study concludes that:

  • A significant decommissioning liability is associated with onshore disposal.
  • Multiple locations along the WA coast are deemed suitable for onshore decommissioning facilities.
  • A multi-facility approach is recommended to address diverse market needs.
  • Recovery of pipelines is geographically viable, with considerations for separate handling of fixed assets.
  • Overlapping specifications suggest collaboration with offshore wind staging and decommissioning sites for a dual-use facility.
  • Continued support from government bodies and industry stakeholders is crucial for the success of the local decommissioning market.

“There is a significant decommissioning liability associated with the onshore disposal of offshore oil and gas assets (circa US$2.1billion for assets in close proximity to WA ports),” the study found.

However, the value and intermittent demand profile does not justify the establishment of a complete greenfield site for this sole purpose, with CODA recommending further investigation of existing facilities in the Pilbara and the Australian Marine Complex at Henderson.