Record set for plugging operationsRiding out the oil crisis

Major removal and recycling assignment

person by Finn Harald Sandberg, Norwegian Petroleum Museum
A contract for removing four platforms from Ekofisk by the end of 2022 was awarded by ConocoPhillips in early 2017 to Heerema Marine Contractors (HMC) with AF Gruppen as its subcontractor.
— Thialf in Vats with the Ekofisk 2/4 P jacket. Photo: Evy Lærdal/AF Decom
© Norsk Oljemuseum

This assignment covered removal, transport and processing (scrapping and recycling) of materials totalling more than 36 000 tonnes.

The four platforms concerned were Ekofisk 2/4 A, 2/4 H and 2/4 FTP as well as the jacket for 2/4 Q. In addition came an option to remove and dispose of Tor 2/4 E.

Modules on 2/4 FTP and 2/4 Q were lifted off during 2018. The remaining modules from the 2/4 P topsides and the 2/4 Q module support frame (MSF) were moved to the Thialf crane vessel in the Easter of 2019 and transported for recycling.

The lifts were conducted as planned, with the last of the big ones – covering the 2/4 FTP MSF – taking place that Easter Saturday.

In addition, the lower bolts on the flanges of the six-metre-long extension pieces installed during the Ekofisk jack-up project in 1987 were removed to free the topsides from the jacket.

According to the latest plans, Ekofisk 2/4 A is due to be removed by 2021. The topsides and jacket for 2/4 H and the 2/4 P and 2/4 Q jackets will also be removed to land in that year.

The requirement to remove redundant platforms has created an entirely new industry in Norway. Work for ConocoPhillips on Ekofisk, in particular, has come as a boon to Vindafjord local authority north of Stavanger, which has a long history of involvement in petroleum-related industry.

Redundant platforms are now being scrapped at the AF Miljøbase Vats recycling yard. AF Decom has secured contracts which will provide activity for a number of years after 2020.

This facility is the most modern of its kind in Europe, and the workforce there observes stringent requirements for safety and environmental protection.

Record set for plugging operationsRiding out the oil crisis
Published 18. September 2019   •   Updated 21. October 2019
© Norsk Oljemuseum
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