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The future is here

Decommissioning the North Sea used to be something to worry about later. But the time to clean up the fast-declining province is nigh

It is no longer a problem for the North Sea's operators to shunt onto the back-burner. The impact of decommissioning is being felt now, and the fight is on to keep the costs and complexities under control. North Sea oil production is waning and no amount of improved oil recovery techniques will halt the trend. In 2000, the UK's offshore pumped out over 4.5m barrels of oil equivalent a day. This year, the figure will be barely a third of this and by 2026 is forecast to dip below 1m boe/d, according to the UK government's Oil & Gas Authority (OGA). The scale of the task to deal with all the leftover kit threatens to be overwhelming. While decommissioning is the norm across the world's oi

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