It is a mandatory requirement to maintain offshore oil and gas (O&G) production and process platforms during the engineering down period (i.e. the period from the end of the design/operational life to decommissioning). Decommissioning of the offshore production and process (OP&PPs) involves cessation of operations, withdrawal of the facility from service, transformation into an out-of-service state, deactivation and removal. There are several energy sources (i.e. pressure, chemical substances, electrical and mechanical instrumentation, telecom equipment, navigation radar system, gravity, heat/cold, biological substances, etc.), which need to be maintained and/or deactivated until the platform is decommissioned. This manuscript first maps the current state of the art in relation to the maintenance of OP&PSs before decommissioning. Then, the ‘Maintenance Regime Minimum’ (MRM) approach is proposed to perform comparative analysis in order to identify and select the optimal maintenance hours within the decommissioning strategy, based on cost (e.g. man hours required), safety, and environmental challenges. The manuscript also illustrates how the MRM approach focuses on potential decommissioning alternatives in relation to the optimization of maintenance hours and challenges involved in different tags throughout the functional hierarchy. The results of a case study on two topside systems (i.e. in relation to two alternatives) are also presented.

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