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How Pickles Oil & Gas works towards sustainability and circularity


Pickles Oil & Gas is proud to work towards circularity and sustainability every day through our services and business operations.

In May, we wrote an article, Surplus Management Solutions That Aid Sustainable Business Practices, which highlighted the progress Pickles is making in ensuring excess or expired materials, like used casing and drill pipe, were not being disposed of in landfill but rather offered on the resale market. This initiative showed impressive and surprising results.

Another niche opportunity for the reuse, recycle and renewing of assets is decommissioned oil and gas infrastructure which is becoming a challenge  for many operators with ageing or retiring oil and gas projects. The problem, being the difficulty in extending the life of these assets, is due to the Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials (NORM) that are commonly found on oil and gas exploration and drilling equipment. NORMs, or radionuclides, include;

  • Uranium and its decay products.
  • Thorium and decay products.
  • Radium and decay products.
  • Potassium-40.
  • Lead-210/Polonium-210.

Radiation Professionals Australia (RPA) approached Pickles Oil & Gas to assist in finding a disposal solution to avoid landfill for a package of NORM contaminated drilling material. Together with RPA, we executed works that enabled the contaminated items to be delivered, stored safely at one of our facilities and decontaminated, while we actively promoted the assets through our established buyer channels.

Additionally, being an in-house solution whereby all storage, decontamination and collection was performed in one location, costs were significantly reduced resulting in an efficient disposal pathway. Surprisingly, the project exceeded expectations of being safely recycled and instead the items were sold for reuse, proving that Pickles Oil & Gas has the established pathways to achieve the best reuse outcomes for decommissioned assets.

An important process for the future

The Australian offshore oil & gas industry is expected to enter a significant decommissioning phase over the next several decades. It’s estimated that combined decommissioning liability valued at $40.5BN will take place by 2060. By 2025, over $10BN of decommissioned liabilities will occur with half being attributed to well plugging and abandonment with the other half for facilities (fixed, floating, pipelines, subsea) – see figure 1.

This level of decommissioning will necessitate expert collection and decontamination services which Pickles will aim to provide to ensure that these materials are handled professionally and serviced in a way that improves their resale ability. This sustainable and circular approach not only benefits the operators, who can recoup their investments through reselling, but also prevents this mass of material from being discarded in landfill or left abandoned at operational sites.  

Figure 1.

Source: Centre of Decommissioning Australia

By addressing the problem with a sustainable and industry-leading solution, we have successfully carved out an exciting new asset channel that aligns with our goal of renewing, reusing and recycling. Should you be interested in hearing more about this project, or our future decommissioning projects, contact our asset advisory and management team who are ready to provide an end-to-end solution that provides the lowest cost supply chain, best reuse opportunities and maximum asset realisation for decommissioning projects in the oil and gas industry.

28 Sep