AN oil and gas decommissioning specialist based in Northern Ireland has established a base in Scotland amid expectations there will be a multi-billion pound boom in activity in the North Sea as fields run dry.

Decom Engineering opened a new facility near Aberdeen in the expectation there will be plenty of demand from North Sea firms for its pipeline decommissioning machinery.

Managing director Sean Conway said the investment gave the firm a platform for significant growth in 2022.

He reckons it will allow the firm to offer more direct and speedier access to existing North Sea clients and a large number of potential new customers who operate in the United Kingdom Continental Shelf and international oil and gas markets.

The move is expected to result in Decom Engineering creating around 10 jobs in Scotland in coming months.

HeraldScotland: Decommissioning work in progress in Shetland Picture Andrew Milligan/PADecommissioning work in progress in Shetland Picture Andrew Milligan/PA

It comes a month after industry body OGUK predicted that £16.6bn would be spent on decommissioning North Sea facilities over the next 10 years, including around 200 miles of pipelines.

Decommissioning work could help oil services firms offset some of the impact of the cuts in spending on new facilities and exploration work seen in recent years.

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The amount of production support work to be won will fall as large numbers of fields reach the ends of their economic lives.

Oil services firms are also looking to use their expertise to support work on the development of new energy sources amid the global drive to cut emissions.

Aberdeen-based Hunting has won a contract to support a pioneering project to utilise thermal energy stored deep beneath the earth’s crust.

The company has supplied around 6,000 metres of casing for use on wells on the Eden Geothermal project in Cornwall.

HeraldScotland: Picture: Eden GeothermalPicture: Eden Geothermal

This aims to use heat held in rocks around 4,500 metres beneath the earth’s surface to power a plant that it is expected could provide enough energy to meet the needs of the Eden Project visitor attraction and the equivalent of around 7,000 homes.

READ MORE: North Sea platforms could help access 'limitless' supply of clean energy

Around 20 Hunting staff worked on the contract, the value of which was not disclosed.

Experts reckon North Sea oil and gas wells could be repurposed for use in the development of geothermal energy facilities.