This paper is to demonstrate the significance of structured planning, holistic assessment and synergies, as key value drivers in enabling and shaping decommissioning alternatives leading to sustainable decommissioning and circular economy.
PETRONAS as the regulator of Malaysia's Upstream activities manage decommissioning obligations through Production Sharing Contracts, internal guidelines and other relevant procedures and standards. The Decommissioning Options Assessment (DOA) is the process used to land on the most feasible option.
Throughout PETRONAS’ 18-year decommissioning journey thus far, decommissioning projects were successfully executed using various alternatives. The valuable learnings gained are applied to further strengthen our decommissioning processes in regulating, enabling and shaping future executions at the lowest cost with safety of life and protection of the environment as our utmost priority.
Upon a decision to proceed with decommissioning, a gated technical review process is used as the governing process to ensure safety, protection to the environment and cost efficiency. It is during this gated technical review that DOA is conducted. The output from the DOA is deliberated within the ambit of five (5) key criteria, i.e. Health, Safety & Security, Environment, Society, Technical & Operational, and Economy. Upon completion of execution, lessons learnt coupled with findings from post-decommissioning surveys are analyzed and applied to future projects.
Synergies and collaborations are key drivers in shaping sustainable and replicable alternative decommissioning solutions. PETRONAS continuously pursues strategic collaborations with all stakeholders, including but not limited to, government ministries/agencies, academia, and industry players to tap into global decommissioning solutions, scientific researches, technologies, and best practices. This key lever will be discussed in the paper.
From actual experiences, supported by studies, it is evident that decommissioning alternatives, including Rigs-to-Reef, add value in terms of marine habitat protection, biodiversity enhancement, fish aggregation, etc. It has also contributed positively to the livelihoods and well-being of society. Re-using platforms for new field development maximizes value by extending the platform's useful life. In addition, PETRONAS also advocates the ‘design for decommissioning’ mindset during a field's development phase in achieving a robust life cycle cost. PETRONAS further believes the values gained from these decommissioning alternatives will contribute to the decommissioning ecosystem in Malaysia.
Moving forward, PETRONAS aspires to elevate the sustainable decommissioning model with the mindset that, ‘no single piece of an abandoned structure goes to waste’. There is a need to mature studies, collaborations and supply chain readiness in realizing more options on the 3Rs (Reduce, Re-use and Recycle).