Scottish supply chain companies are being asked to propose solutions for the recovery of concrete mattresses from the seabed as part of the offshore oil and gas decommissioning programme jointly developed by private sector economic development company Opportunity North East (ONE) and Scottish Enterprise (SE).

ONE and SE are partnering to support SMEs to target future decommissioning business and are working with oil and gas operators on a series of project-specific opportunities. The programme enables SMEs to present their capabilities, skills and experience to operators in relation to future projects and potentially benefit from business support.

The fourth decommissioning opportunity in the programme addresses seabed concrete mattress recovery, sponsored by Fairfield Energy, and SMEs are invited to submit propositions by 29 April 2019. Further information can be found at

The Oil and Gas UK Decommissioning Insight 2018 forecasts that, in total, more than 18,000 mattresses will be removed in the UKCS between 2018 and 2027.

When decommissioning an offshore facility, the licensees have an obligation to remediate the site of subsea infrastructure. This typically requires the removal and recovery of concrete mattresses that were placed there to construct, stabilise and protect the subsea infrastructure within the platform and subsea development 500m safety zones. Mattresses have traditionally been recovered by controlled marine handling and lifting supported by divers and ROVs. Propositions are now sought to resolve the full scope of the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS) mattress removal challenges, from removal to shore. Solutions that have restrictions, for example working marine environments or water depth, will be considered if deemed suitable for significant elements of scopes.

Submissions to the programme will be reviewed by an industry panel with successful applicants going on to pitch their solutions to operators. Support will be provided to selected applicants throughout the process, including one-to-one support to build business cases and to develop the operator pitches.

The programme aims to give successful applicants access to and feedback from the end-user operators, improved understanding of operator needs, improved business cases and business development support. Operator sponsors gain access to targeted solutions focused on their future project needs, which can inform their related procurement and contracting strategies. 

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