Client: O&G Industry regulatory authority

Location: UK

Challenge: The Government regulator, being empowered to licence O&G activity for maximizing economic recovery, is also responsible for end-of-life activities. To bring non-operational-support staff up to speed, training was required to introduce the fundamentals of Plug & Abandonment (P&A) operations as part of the end-of-life decommissioning of O&G fields.

Solution: Utilising our in-house Well Engineering team and our ‘Essentials of Plug & Abandonment’ course as a starting point, we worked with the regulator to develop a course focused on the fundamental operations overseen by the regulator, and integrated case studies featuring recent regulatory compliance issues.


In the North Sea alone, some 3,000+ wells are expected to be plugged in the next decade. Spurred on by the drive to reach net zero emissions by 2050, total estimated decommissioning spending (which though variable) is projected to be £44bn. The regulatory authorities have been tasked with monitoring these costs, 49% of which is forecast to be spent on Plug & Abandonment (P&A) operations.

With P&A playing such a major role in the decarbonization of O&G and the energy transition (for repurposing and reuse) we were tasked with developing a new course that would provide our client’s non-operational employees with a working knowledge of the fundamentals involved in regulating P&A operations. It was agreed that introducing real life case studies to the course would provide greater practical insights into the many challenges of P&A operations in the North Sea.


We had previously delivered an introductory P&A course for the government’s energy policy & industrial strategy department, and it was recognised that this ‘Essentials of Plug and Abandonment’ course would make an excellent starting point to support our client’s specific requirements of planning for cost efficiency, identifying opportunities to reuse or repurpose, and the development/deployment of new technology.

Aberdeen Drilling School’s in-house well engineering team worked with the regulator’s engineering experts to augment the course content and include the key focus areas. We worked closely with our client to tailor the course and together we sourced case studies of relevant P&A operations drawn from national databases.


The resulting course sets a new benchmark for introducing the essentials of P&A to government personnel involved in the decommissioning industry. The course not only provides delegates with an enhanced understanding of the principles, methodologies, practicalities and risks associated with P&A activity, but introduces real world case studies, and ensures learning outcomes align with the government’s strategies for an energy transition towards net zero.

We’re now working with a wide range of other clients including operators, service companies, drilling contractors and other regulatory bodies.

“Really enjoyable and informative course. Engaging and knowledgeable instructor. Very good course.” – Decommissioning Engineer