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During the next 30 years, more than $87 billion dollars will be spent on decommissioning activity within the UK Continental Shelf, said Mark McAllister, chairman of The Decommissioning Company, in an oil and gas conference in London.

“The overall cost of decommissioning has increased now sixfold in the last decade,” McAllister added told oil and gas delegates at the Finding Petroleum Decommissioning event Tuesday.

Last month, Wood Mackenzie estimated that 142 UKCS fields would cease production over the next five years and that a total of $80 billion would be spent on decommissioning.

In addition to outlining the rising planned expenditure of the decommissioning sector, McAllister said the oil and gas industry has a responsibility to decommission the North Sea as cost effectively as possible but warned that this will only happen “if we optimize learning between projects and maximize coordination”.

North Sea Has “Limited” Decommissioning Experience

“The [UKCS oil and gas] industry has had relatively limited experience of decommissioning,” said Christopher Lloyd, an oil and gas consultant at CL Consultancy.