Fairfield Decom says ‘first customer needs to be as visionary as we are’

A new decommissioning company in Aberdeenshire is seeking out its first contract, saying their inaugural customer “needs to be as visionary as us”.

Fairfield Decom was launched in May as a joint venture between operator Fairfield Energy and decommissioning heavyweights AF Offshore Decom and Heerema Marine Contractors.

The business model involves taking over operatorship of fields in their final years of production and guiding them through to decommissioning.

Managing director Graeme Fergusson said the company has approached several operators and is in “material conversations” with three or four.

It comes after Jon Clark, oil and gas transactions leader for Europe, Middle East, India and Africa at EY, told Offshore Europe delegates last week that operators will need to make a strategic decision to either carry out decommissioning or do a deal with a specialist supplier like Fairfield.

The company’s commercial director Ronald van Waaijen, said: “We would not have gotten this far if we were not confident about a couple of opportunities out there.

“At some point it will take a big decision for the first mover.

“I think our first customer needs to be as visionary as us, to take the step and to go for it.

“There are plenty that elect to do it themselves, that’s fine. But there are even more who, now that there is an opportunity to outsource it, are really interested to do so.”

Fairfield Decom brings together the expertise of Fairfield Energy, Dutch heavy-lift crane vessel owner Heerema and Norway’s AF Gruppen.

The company aims to not just focus on the decommissioning side, but to also draw value out from the final stages of an asset’s production life which might otherwise be overlooked.

At Offshore Europe last week, Andy Samuel, chief executive of the Oil and Gas Authority said he “hoped” operators would give specialist decom suppliers like Fairfield their backing.

The company estimates it is around six months to a year away from landing their first contract and there has been “fantastic” feedback from the operating and regulatory communities since setting up.

Mr Fergusson, managing director of Fairfield Decom, said: “I would say we’re in more advanced conversations with three or four operators and there is a number of factors that drive that.

“Appetite – wanting to do something different, if they do then we’re further along in the discussion – but also portfolio.

“The step to form the company and put ourselves together was not easy and we did it based on a lot of good conversations with operators and regulators. The feedback from having taken that step has been fantastic.

“So to have taken such a material step and said ‘right, we’re here now, do you want to do business with us?’ has been very well received by the operators. So I would say that has taken us a number of steps forward.”

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Craigmill, Pitcaple, Inverurie, Aberdeenshire, United Kingdom, AB51 5HP
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