Maersk Units Form New Offshore Decommissioning Company

maersk supply service vessel
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Maersk Drilling and Maersk Supply Service have announced a joint venture that will provide decommissioning services to offshore oil and gas operators.

The 50-50 joint venture will initially offer bundled solutions for up to 80% of the process required in decommissioning an oil field, the two companies said in a press release. In addition to project management, the bundled solutions will cover work such as plug and abandonment of wells, towage of floating units and removal of subsea infrastructure. In the longer term, the JV plans to provide the full end-to-end process of decommissioning.

After decades of production, an increasing amount of offshore oil and gas fields are approaching the end of their economic life. According to the companies, in the North Sea alone, more than 400 fields are expected to cease production by 2026 at an estimated cost of USD 56 billion. Globally, over 700 fields are expected to require decommissioning.

“With the growing need for decommissioning mature fields, governments and oil and gas operators are looking for experienced partners to manage and perform this challenging task. By leveraging the strong track record of the two companies, as well as our complementary asset base and competencies, we can lower the risk and reduce the overall cost for the customers,” says Jørn Madsen, CEO of Maersk Drilling.

Both Maersk Drilling and Maersk Supply Service are units of Danish transport and logistics giant A.P. Moller – Maersk. Under the terms of the deal, each company provide an investment of USD $20 million covering the first years of operations, in addition to providing assets through standard commercial conditions.

“With the projection of adding up to three new projects per year after 2020, the JV’s revenue is expected to grow steadily over the first five years,” the press release stated.

Maersk Drilling and Maersk Supply Service have both done decommissioning work for various clients. Since 2016, Maersk Supply Service has been project managing and executing the full scope of decommissioning services for the Janice, James and Leadon subsea fields in the UK North Sea for the operator Total after it acquiring Maersk Oil. While Maersk Drilling did the plug and abandonment (P&A) for the James and Leadon wells, Maersk Supply Service provided the marine asset coverage on all three subsea fields and took on the responsibility for the engineering, subcontractor management, offshore planning, interface management and associated logistics, as well as the disposal of recovered facilities from the seabed through management of waste disposal contractors.

“By combining our marine knowledge and experience from recent decommissioning projects, we can provide oil and gas operators bundled solutions with one point of contact for the majority of decommissioning work scope. With the experience and asset base brought to the JV by both companies, and the team to see it through, I am confident that the decommissioning JV can offer attractive and flexible solutions to the market,” says Steen S. Karstensen, CEO of Maersk Supply Service.

The JV will be headquartered at the Maersk Drilling and Maersk Supply Service joint headquarters in Lyngby, Denmark.

Lars Banke has been appointed Chief Executive Officer of the JV and will join the company from Total in June 2018. Jens Klit Thomsen, currently Head of Decommissioning Business Development at Maersk Supply Service has been appointed Chief Commercial Officer of the JV as of 1 April. Carsten Sander Jacobsen, currently Head of P&E Engineering in INEOS Denmark, has been appointed Chief Technical Officer as of 1 May.

An individual corporate brand for the new company will be announced in the coming months.