Decommissioning an oil site is a complex process that can take several steps to complete. A full decommission, according to RigZone, includes plugging wells, demobilizing derrick barges and removing platforms before disposing of cables and other materials completely.
As such, there are several opportunities for something to go wrong, as there are in any offshore diving work. Despite this, if the number of jobs is on the rise, commercial diving contractors could take advantage of the extra work.
However, an article in the most recent issue of Underwater Magazine reported several issues with depending on decommissions as a job. First and foremost, the source said, more platforms are being installed than decommissioned. It doesn't take an expert to see that this means fewer opportunities to work if all you want to do is dismantle and clear sites.
There's also the fact that necessary decommissioning services depend on the goals of the project. The source spoke to Benton Vicknair and James Cerenzie of Oceaneering International Inc., who said that the amount of activity divers and ROVs see can vary.
"For example, in pipeline and umbilical decommissioning, companies need considerable underwater support with placing/operating tools and visual inspection," Cerenzie and Vicknair said. "However, for shallow-water platform decommissioning, typically there is only one cut (and lift to surface), and divers are only used as a final check to ensure all infrastructure has been removed."
Offshore services managers may want to determine the appropriate insurance they need before a major job, especially one with so much potential for error. General providers don't always have the right policies available, making it important to look further for the right coverage options for all.