The announcement on Monday 10th September was made as key figures from oil and gas operators, service companies and other key stakeholders gathered on Shetland for an event to understand the challenges and opportunities ahead.
Options to create an ambitious industrial and energy vision for the wider Shetland area were discussed at the industry showcase event hosted by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and the Oil & Gas Authority (OGA) in Lerwick.
The Lerwick location was selected following a UK-wide feasibility study, conducted by Ernst and Young, has as the optimal and most cost-effective location for decommissioning work.
Speaking as he met with key leaders from across the oil & gas industry during a visit to Shetland, Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse said:
“This year’s Programme for Government reaffirms the Scottish Government’s commitment to establishing an ultra-deep water port in Scotland. Following an extensive feasibility study, which explored a number of UK-wide options, including a number of Scottish sites, Dales Voe was identified as the optimal location with potential for a deep water facility.
“I believe investment in a deep water port will unlock the potential for Scotland to secure the largest decommissioning contracts that require the largest heavy lift vessels currently in operation in the North Sea. A deep water port in Scotland will bring significant benefits not only for a single location, but as a key part of an integrated and networked Scotland wide decommissioning offering, with wider opportunities realised through the supply chain.
“We will continue to engage with industry to measure expected demand and to ensure that investment in a deep water facility will bring the widest possible economic benefit and most substantive boost to the decommissioning supply chain in Scotland.”
Rachel Hunter, Area Manager of HIE, said: “It’s great to be here today at Dales Voe which has rightly earned the reputation as an onshore centre of excellence in decommissioning. Our investment along with support from partners towards the Dales Voe expansion project last year enhances Shetland’s position to become a leading hub for decommissioning works in the North Sea. This two-day oil and gas showcase, in which we have welcomed the oil and gas sector’s top people, is a seminal event which will shape Shetland’s role in the oil and gas sector for decades to come.”
Gunther Newcombe, Director of Operations at the Oil and Gas Authority said: “The OGA is working with operators to develop area plans, to the east and west of Shetland, to maximise value, and welcomes all parties contributing to build a regional vision which will maximize the value of current developments and stimulate future opportunities. Shetland could play an important role in this vision as well as becoming a decommissioning centre of expertise”.