The North Sea has witnessed an increase in decommissioning projects within the last year, a trend that is expected to significantly accelerate in the next decade, according to a new industry report. 

Offshore Energies UK (OEUK)'s annual Decommissioning Insight report has found that a number of decommissioning projects in the North Sea have been brought forward in an upsurge in decommissioning activity that is expected to continue over the next three or four years.

The report estimated that 2,100 North Sea wells will be decommissioned over the next decade – about 200 per year – at an average cost of £7.8m per well.

This would bring the total cost to £20bn, an increase from last year's estimated £16.6bn.

“The UK’s decommissioning sector is snowballing and will continue growing for years to come," said Ricky Thomson, OEUK’s decommissioning manager. “But this poses a challenge as well as an opportunity. The growth of renewables and demand for...