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Energy / Lerwick secures next oil industry decommissioning project

The Ninian Northern topside arriving at Lerwick harbour in August 2020. Photo: Shetland News

LERWICK harbour based consortium Veolia/Peterson has been awarded another large decommissioning project to dismantle and recycle the platform jacket of the Ninian Northern oil facility.

The partnership has already successfully decommissioned the 14,500 tonne topside of the same platform at Dales Voe during the last two years.

The 83 metre high jacket, weighing around 8,500 tonnes, will arrive on board Allseas’ construction vessel Pioneering Spirit in April.

Veolia and Peterson both said preparations for receipt of the jacket were well underway.

Like the topside, the jacket will be removed in a single lift and transferred ashore at the base via a barge.

Decommissioning of the jacket is expected to take around eight months to complete.

Veolia UK’s chief operating officer John Abraham said: “Industry leading recycling involves innovation and scrupulous planning, and with our major complex decommissioning projects we have already shown that it is possible to achieve a 98 per cent recycling rate for obsolete oil and gas structures, a key achievement as we look to preserve resources and drive our ecological transformation.

“Decommissioning is also very important from a carbon perspective as recycling a tonne of steel saves 1.5 tonnes of iron ore and reduces CO2 emissions by 80 per cent compared to metal production from raw materials.”

Peterson’s decommissioning manager James Johnson added: “We believe this award demonstrates the strong track record of Peterson and Veolia in handling all types of offshore decommissioning projects, as well as the excellent capability of the Dales Voe Base.

“It is also recognition of the excellent work undertaken in the decommissioning of the Ninian Northern topside, where an industry first approach to decommissioning an offshore asset proved very successful.  We are very pleased that the award will also help secure a number of Peterson roles on Shetland on an ongoing basis.”

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Port Authority chief executive Captain Calum Grains said: “Great news during the recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, it is a further boost to the port’s reputation as a leader in decommissioning ever-larger structures.

“It adds emphasis to advancing plans for an Ultra-Deep-Water Quay at Dales Voe to transform UK decommissioning capability and in servicing renewable energy. High level talks with government and industry continue to progress.”

The eight-legged platform, a drilling and production facility, was installed in 1978 and went into production in 1980. Output ceased in 2017.

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