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Innovative software tackles decommissioning globally

Marc Nijmeijer having spent 20 years in a corporate world of engineering and finance, always strived to take it to the next level. Coming from that, WellDecommissioned, an independent and innovative oil and gas wells decommissioning service provider was founded in March, 2017.

In 2019, Marc gave an interview to the ImpactCity about doing good and doing business and now two years later, Marc is reflecting about the societal change, importance of decommissioning and the software that is becoming a game-changer.

  • Decommissioning of oil and gas well should have higher priority

“Decommissioning of oil and gas wells itself is not a new thing, because in any heavy industry, there is a need to leave behind a piece of land or sea in a clean manner. But, the liabilities of clearing these assets are huge - it's a lot of work, takes a lot of time, and costs a lot of money. Most companies and governments actually see this as the last priority. So that means if oil or gas can be found still, then that's where they want to put their money in and investing in more oil and gas. Decommissioning is a can kicked down the road. And this is something that has happened for decades.” explains Marc. At the moment, strongest sense of commitment to decommission comes from Norway and the U.K. Therefore, in 2021, WellDecommissioned has established a new company in Aberdeen, Scotland to expand decommissioning optimisation at the North Sea.

To Marc, decommissioning is part of the energy transition: over the next decades renewables will grow, and most oil and gas fields will require clean-ups, although some infrastructure may be retained to support the energy transition. Right now, Marc shares that it is not too late to clean up the depleted fields without shifting the burden to new generations – “I really believe in this idea and we need to clean up timely for our children and grandchildren.  It's not too late yet and the topic needs to be elevated on the global agenda. Enabling societies to address this clean-up straightforwardly and very deliberately - that's gives a lot of joy and energy at work.”

  • Software that helps to evaluate, plan and make decisions and project delivery

WellDecommissioned product is a proprietary in-house software, developed by own professional experts and now it is now developed into a Sofware as a Service web-tool that contractors and companies can use directly.  Having years of experience in the oil and gas industry himself, over the years Marc learned that the industry culture contributed to expensive and time-consuming decommissioning. His idea was to use software, WD Apollo, to bring standardization across all companies offering a very straightforward and intuitive approach to  remove the assets in a low risk and more affordable manner. “If you have software, you can be very effective to standardize and manage complex projects and bring parties on the same page, using one digital framework. Helping them plan these projects or evaluate these projects in a very efficient manner so that they can take the right decisions, make make appropriate plans to make this whole quest more of the much more affordable”. 

What makes WD Apollo a game-changer is that it’s not difficult to use and it’s not costly. It’s the right tool for any company to resolve a lot of issues and expedite the decommissioning. More affordable and expedited removal will change the way the society is looking at environmental responsibility. Any company or country in any place around the globe can use this tool to actually develop the right mindset and approach to manage and execute this type of projects. It's about managing energy transition projects.” Beyond Europe, our current biggest market, we are in talks with companies across the globe about implementation of our software.  

Marc mentions that WD Apollo is not only a software, but also a tool that creates partnerships and long-term mutual befits “It really works because the software is designed in such a way that it gets more powerful every day and more productive every time it is used. It is very exciting to see that because one party is using it, it also has a lot of value to the other party. There is a mutual effect. We invest a lot in the software and have our investment plan for the next couple of years as well – it is a collaborative investment with all of the clients, who participate in building this software platform.”

  • The Hague is the way to reach global recognition

Marc shares that the ecosystem of The Hague has huge potential. Being a specialized niche business, connecting with the right stakeholders is key. Marc explains that although there are no big oil fields in the city itself, government and representative bodies are based here, and they have an impact on companies like WellDecommissioned. “ImpactCity has helped us to work the governmental and investor agenda. It makes us think broader and work harder. For example when we consider short-term networking and long-term networking – short-term network may be how do I find a person to sell my product? Beyond that the longer-term network is actually way more important because when the government understands the importance of our work to society, we will be so much more impactful.”

Marc believes that working with local governments and municipalities, finance institutes and other impact businesses allows the creation of focused networks, which eventually stimulates local community initiatives and export at the global marketplace. In this way WellDecommissioned contributes to an even more impactful change.