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Dismantling the oil industry: rough North Sea waters test new ideas

London - Scottish marine salvage group Ardent is adapting the tanks it used to refloat the Costa Concordia, the cruise ship wrecked off the Italian coast in 2012, to decommission North Sea oil platforms

London - Scottish marine salvage group Ardent is adapting the tanks it used to refloat the Costa Concordia, the cruise ship wrecked off the Italian coast in 2012, to decommission North Sea oil platforms.

It is one of several companies trying new ideas to win business in the market for dismantling disused oil platforms. In Britain’s aging oil fields alone, the opportunities could be worth up to 17 billion pounds ($21.85 billion) before 2025, according to industry body Oil and Gas UK. The ideas could then be deployed to other maturing fields such as in the Gulf of Mexico and southeast Asia. Ardent says it needs at least two companies to sign up for a project to get off the ground.

Well-Safe, another company offering a new approach, also needs several operators to commit. So far, Ardent has found it challenging to persuade companies to be the first to sign up. “Everyone is queuing to be second,” said Ardent’s Decommissioning Director Stuart Martin. Oil companies are keen to reduce costs in a part of the market dominated by major global players such as TechnipFMC (FTI.N), Schlumberger, Saipem (SPMI.MI) and AllSeas.

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