KSAT DECOM - Satellite-Based Monitoring of Decommissioned Offshore Oil & Gas Assets or Decommissioning of energy assets

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Objectives of the service

Image credit: Shutterstock, Project: KSAT DECOM

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 a 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 in offshore Oil & Gas and Wind Farms with:

  • Adapting its 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 creation of 3D mapping to provide an optimum level of situational awareness.
  • Exploring the fusion of its current services with additional satellite data to detect methane emissions.

This approach Is an unprecedent concept where different capabilities will be put together for the decommissioning sector.

Users and their needs

KSAT DECOM will target two types of users; contractors 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 before 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 and after decommissioning activities for the mitigation of the pollution
  • Optimization of the decommissioning activities by reduce the costs

The main challenges are:

  • thinking ahead how the KSAT DECOM activities can be optimally managed in terms of operational effectiveness, cost -efficiency and safety.
  • exploring the fusion of additional ancillary data sources to the core KSAT services such as the use of GHGSat assets to monitor methane emissions.
  • convincing decision makers on the actual added value of KSAT DECOM service should take into consideration

In this Feasibility Study we mainly focus on the North Sea but also Thailand, Australia and Angola.

Service/ system concept

KSAT DECOM will be a space-based service that provides with high accurate vessels position and oil spills monitoring around the decommissioned platforms plus overall environmental monitoring after, during and before the activities.

Users will access the services through an interface tool that will offer 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 for supporting decommissioning activities.

Moreover, together with Kongsberg Maritime and Kongsberg Digital, we will explore the creation of 3D mapping to provide an optimum level of situational awareness.

Space Added Value

The following list provides the space assets that are intended to be used in this proposal:

  1. Synthetic Aperture Radar Satellites: their capacity to cover wide areas of interest makes them ideal for maritime applications. SAR images are extremely operational due to their capacity to acquire images immediately 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. Medium and High-Resolution optical Satellites: optical satellites are considered a cost-effective way to survey large areas of interest. Depending of their resolution, they can be used for detection or for identification of features.
  3. Satellite Based AIS (Automatic Identification System): Real Time delivery of AIS data is of paramount importance in correlating oil spills with the responsible polluting vessel.
  4. 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 user.
  5. High speed satellite communications systems.
  6. GPS.

While KSAT is the industry leader of providing satellite-based monitoring services for the oil and gas industry, the world’s energy mix is changing away from fossil fuels to other solutions.  As a consequence, many oil and gas facilities shall be allowed to complete their operational lifespans without replacement, meaning that over the coming decades, KSAT’s business focus must shift from the monitoring of operational oil and gas assets, to those going through the stages of the decommissioning process.

Current Status

KSAT is conducting different interviews and surveys with operators and regulators that work in the Oil & Gas and Wind Farm assets to better understand the complexities of the decommissioning activities, concerns in this sector and technology gaps that needs to be ready for the coming 10-20 years where the assets will be decommissioned.

Moreover, KSAT will participate in a virtual event where different where different users, operators  and companies will meet to focus on all aspects of energy decommissioning - oil & gas, renewables, circular economy, marine, salvage and nuclear - and provide tangible insight into the sector.

Consolidating user needs will allow us to tailor our current services to this sector but also to develop new technologies as an online tool for the delivery of the services and the use of new sensors to detect methane emissions.

Status Date

Updated: 21 May 2021 - Created: 21 May 2021