Petrofac’s David Hutchison, Operations Director, Late Life and Decommissioning took to the stage as part of SPE Offshore Europe’s conference programme yesterday.
David was on the ‘Decom North Sea: Global Late Life and Decommissioning Practitioners’ panel where he discussed ‘Defining New Models and Behaviours’.
With three decades of engineering, operations and senior management experience, including seven years leading Talisman’s Decommissioning team, David is well versed in the challenges operators are facing as assets reach late life.
Just a few months into his role with Petrofac, David said he has seen, first-hand, the kind of integrated capability and track record Petrofac is amassing, while its holistic asset approach helps clients overcome these challenges. “From studies and production enhancement activities, brownfield engineering and operations, to planning and well plug and abandonment; in an industry where there is a lot of talk about ‘doing’ decommissioning, Petrofac can already prove it is delivering across the asset life cycle.
When it comes to defining models and behaviours, David explained to conference delegates that Petrofac’s aim is to get involved while an asset is still producing: “Through our outsourced Duty Holder model, we focus on managing and operating the asset cost effectively to sustain or increase production and push out cessation of production and decommissioning liabilities for as long as possible. During this time we gain valuable asset knowledge which enables us to help our client prepare for decommissioning.”
Petrofac pioneered its Duty Holder model 20 years ago this month and marked the occasion at this week’s conference. Throughout that time Petrofac has continued to prove its ability to reduce OPEX and CAPEX during normal operations and in late life.
“As Duty Holder we can identify opportunities to reduce costs through multi-skilling workforces, fit-for-purpose systems, integrated planning and optimised maintenance”, explained David. “We can also transition the asset team from an operations mind set, to a project mind set required for decommissioning. This is essential for success – decommissioning is not business as usual; an adoption of new ‘intervention only’ strategies challenge traditional working practices and change entrenched behaviours to suit the new environment.”
When it comes to the removal aspect of decommissioning, Petrofac is already engaging with heavy lift vessel and yard owners to deliver a ‘total’ solution for clients. “Through partnerships and an aligned approach to delivery we offer a truly integrated approach to planning, preparation, removal and waste disposal which has clear benefits for all parties”, said David.