The U.K. government opened the National Decommissioning Center (NDC) in Newburgh, north of Edinburgh, to research and develop the economics and technologies for decommissioning oil and natural gas fields, pipelines and offshore platforms.
"The National Decommissioning Center, a global technology R&D [research and development] hub, is opened by Lord Duncan and Paul Wheelhouse MSP, Scottish Energy Minister," the U.K. government said on Friday in a statement.
The NDC is a £38 million partnership between the Oil & Gas Technology Center and the University of Aberdeen, part of the Aberdeen City Region Deal, NDC said in a separate statement.
It said it plans to work in partnership with firms to focus on reducing costs, extending field and asset life, and transforming the conventional approach to decommissioning.
"One hundred offshore platforms and 5,700 kilometers of pipeline are forecast to be decommissioned or reused over the next decade on the U.K. Continental Shelf," the NDC statement said.
"With the Oil and Gas Authority estimating the total cost of oil and gas decommissioning to be £58 billion, the NDC will help industry deliver the 35 percent cost reduction target set by the regulator in 2016," it added.
The NDC will work with the University of Aberdeen in areas such as decommissioning technologies, modeling, environmental assessment and economics of decommissioning, according to the statement.
"Linking industry demand and expertise with academic capability and skills will help create competitive advantage, not only for the oil and gas industry, but for decommissioning challenges in the wider energy sector, for example, in offshore renewables," the statement said.
The Oil & Gas Technology Center, established in October 2016 with £180 million funding as part of the Aberdeen City Region Deal, aims to help maximize economic recovery from the U.K. continental shelf, according to the statement.
By Ovunc Kutlu