A WORLD-first decommissioning simulator has been launched to service the growing sector in Scotland and beyond.

Aberdeen’s Robert Gordon University (RGU) is behind the project, in collaboration with funding partners the Oil & Gas Technology Centre, KCA Deutag and Drilling Systems, with technical support from Baker Hughes.

The simulator has been established to focus on well-plugging and abandonment (P&A), which is forecast to cost the UK more than £8 billion over the next decade.

RGU says the simulator could significantly enhance safety, improve efficiency and reduce costs.

RGU’s partnership with the Oil & Gas Technology Centre will also create opportunities to develop and test new technologies. Professor Paul de Leeuw, director of RGU’s Oil and Gas Institute, believes the simulator will have numerous benefits for the industry.

He said: “Operators and drilling contractors will be able to use the simulator to develop the technical and non-technical skills and capabilities of their rig crews for decommissioning wells, while improving team performance.”