OIL services firm Exceed has expanded into Australia amid expectations that expertise developed in the North Sea will help it win business in the country.

The Aberdeen-based group said Exceed Australia expects to win business in the country’s burgeoning decommissioning sector and a revitalised offshore market.

After working on the decommissioning of more than 130 UK wells the company expects to be in a strong position to compete for business in Australia.

The move highlights the global nature of the emerging decommissioning market. This is expected to expand rapidly as huge numbers of fields around the world, and related production assets, reach the ends of their economic lives.

Exceed said significant legislative developments surrounding the decommissioning of Australia’s offshore and onshore assets are expected to boost activity in the sector.

It reckons the market could be worth $40.5 billion (£28bn) in total.

READ MORE: North Sea regulator puts focus on decommissioning costs

In August the Australian parliament passed legislation to strengthen the country’s offshore oil and gas regulatory framework.

The laws were intended to ensure that companies that operate fields would be able to decommission them and that the costs would not be left to taxpayers.

In June the Government noted it had completed a review of the policy and legislative frameworks related to decommissioning in the expectation that there would be an increase in activity in coming years as the country’s oil and gas sector continued to mature.

It said then: “Unlike countries with more established oil and gas sectors like Norway and the United Kingdom, Australia’s oil and gas industry is in its infancy when it comes to decommissioning.”

The North Sea decommissioning market has become an increasingly attractive one for oil services firms in recent years.

A range of large scale decommissioning projects involving massive fields such as Brent have generated work for the supply chain.

READ MORE: Costs of North Sea tax breaks laid bare in filings by oil giant

This has been especially valuable during periods in which firms have faced challenging trading conditions in the market for exploration and production project work.

The fallout from the coronavirus crisis triggered a slump in the sector as firms were trying to recover from one that started in 2014, after growth in supplies ran ahead of demand.

Oil and gas firms slashed spending on new North Sea fields during the downturns. Some decided to decommission fields sooner than had been expected.

READ MORE: Oil firm to cut more than 500 North Sea jobs after bringing forward field shut downs

Cuts in North Sea investment have also encouraged firms to try to win export business.

Exceed said its Australian operation has formed a collaborative relationship with Perth-based oil services firm ICON Engineering. Exceed also has operations in Mexico, Norway, Ghana and Canada.