North Sea Murchison decom process under way

CNR International UK (CNRI) has started the public consultation on its proposals for decommissioning the Murchison platform and pipelines.

Offshore staff

CALGARY, Canada --CNR International UK (CNRI) has started the public consultation on its proposals for decommissioning the Murchison platform and pipelines.

The Murchison field is in UK northern North Sea block 211/19 and extends into Norwegian block 33/9. Production is due to cease in early 2014.

The consultation, which runs to July 12, follows CNRI’s submission of adraft decommissioning program to Britain’s Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC).

Facilities that may involve removal comprise one steel platform, 150 km (93 mi) northeast of the Shetland Islands; a drill cuttings pile; and related pipelines and infrastructure.

Once the consultation is complete and CNRI has responded to any queries or comments, the company will formally submit its Stage 2 decommissioning program to DECC. The UK government will then decide whether relevant elements should be put forward for derogation status under the OSPAR convention, which guides international cooperation on the protection of the marine environment of the North-East Atlantic Ocean.

Derogation would relate to proposals to leave the steel “footings” of the platform jacket in place on the sea floor. Murchison qualifies because of its size - the platform weighs 27,600 metric tons (29,762 tons) - and the early date of its installation, in 1979.

CNRI plans to P&A the oil wells and remove the 24,500-metric ton (27,006-ton) topsides for reuse, recycling or disposal, although removal methods for both the topsides and the jacket have not been determined.

Any related contracts would not be awarded until the government confirms the decommissioning program, probably in mid-2014. Execution would likely take until 2019 to complete.

5/31/2013

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