ESA title


  • ACTIVITYDemonstration Project
  • STATUSOngoing
  • THEMATIC AREATransport & Logistics, Energy, Maritime and Aquatic

Objectives of the service

The development of new technologies and services in decommissioning and environmental management will be crucial in the coming years. The decommissioning activities need to increasingly consider space-based applications for a remote management.

KSAT DECOM will help decommissioning industry and operators in offshore Oil & Gas and Wind farms to achieve safer methods of execution, reduce costs and, of course, monitor the environmental impacts that these activities will have in the ocean and the fishing industry.

KSAT DECOM will help decommissioning sector with:

  • NRT SAR-based oil spill detection service

  • Designing an optimal program in terms of revisit time, resolution and information to proactively detect oil spills and vessels.

  • Exploring the fusion of its current services with additional satellite data to detect other information such as methane emissions.

This approach is an innovative concept where different capabilities will be put together for the decommissioning sector as one package.

Image credit: KSAT, Project: DECOM

Users and their needs

KSAT DECOM will target two types of users; Energy companies and regulatory authorities. Both agree that the monitoring of environmental impact of the decommissioning activities is on their priorities so a good understanding of what is happening before, during and after of the works will be crucial.

The main needs identified are:

  • Monitoring of the activities around the offshore platforms such as vessels or equipment.

  • Rapid detection of oil spills during.

  • Proactive monitoring of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions.

  • Optimization of the decommissioning activities by reduce the costs.

The main challenges are:

  • Thinking ahead to how the KSAT DECOM activities can be optimally managed in terms of operational effectiveness, cost -efficiency and safety whilst providing ongoing value.

  • Exploring the fusion of additional ancillary data sources to the core KSAT services such as the use of assets to monitor methane emissions.

Convincing decision makers on the actual added value of the KSAT DECOM service Our vision is to provide this service worldwide. In this demonstration we mainly focus on the North Sea and Australia owing to the location and interest of the project stakeholders.

Service/ system concept

KSAT DECOM will be a space-based service that provides high accurate vessel detection and oil spills monitoring around the decommissioned platforms as well as overall environmental monitoring detecting greenhouse gas emissions and water quality information around the assets.

Users will access the services through a single interface that will offer an agile and easy overview of the activities and phenomenon around their platforms of interest.
This service will combine different KSAT Near-Real Time services with new, to be developed, solutions for supporting decommissioning activities.

Image credit: KSAT, Project: KSAT DECOM

Space Added Value

The following list provides the space assets that are intended to be used for the proof-of-concept of this demonstration project:

  1. Sentinel-1: its capacity to cover wide areas makes it ideal for maritime applications. SAR images are extremely useful for such applications owing to their capacity to acquire images without long tasking windows and independent of good light conditions and cloud-free skies. It has proven to be cost-effective compared to other solutions (Ground-Based radar, thermal imaging, etc.).

  2. Sentinel-2: the constellation of two optical satellites that provide imaging opportunities over land and water with repeating image collections every 6-12 days. This constellation, with its 12 spectral bands, high resolution as well as wide swath allows for mapping of a wide range of features.

  3. Sentinel-3: provides daily imaging over an impressive 1,270km swath focused particularly on ocean colour. Sentinel-3 is ideal to support maritime applications including oil spill detection and water quality.

  4. Sentinel-5P: first Copernicus mission dedicated to monitoring of the atmosphere. Its main objective is to perform atmospheric measurements with high repeat to be used for air quality, ozone UV radiation, etc. and as such is ideal for wide area monitoring of emissions, some of which can be associated with oil and gas activities and during decommissioning activities.

  5. RADARSAT-2: SAR satellite with different beam modes for targeted monitoring in the maritime and land domain

  6. GHGSat Constellation: has been designed specifically to quantify methane concentration and is therefore an ideal method for monitoring methane emissions from oil and gas operations as much as for monitoring the environment.

  7. Satellite-Based AIS: Real Time delivery of AIS data is of paramount importance in correlating oil spills with the responsible polluting vessel.

  8. High performance distributed Ground Station Systems for operational earth observation services, delivery of data in Near-Real-Time is critical to improve the response capabilities of the end users.

Current Status

Once moved to demonstration phase, KSAT has been conducted additional surveys among key operators and regulators interested in KSAT DECOM services.

Besides, KSAT has participated for the first time in Offshore Decommissioning Conference where different users, operatos and companies met to discuss wide range of aspects of energy decommissioning.

Status Date

Updated: 14 June 2024