Decommissioning Guidelines for North Sea Subsea

Wednesday, November 09, 2011
Anthony Onukwu, senior technology analyst from ITF

A new study which aims to inform UK government guidelines on environmentally responsible methods for decommissioning offshore pipeline bundles will be launched in Aberdeen this month. The study was secured with assistance from ITF, the technology facilitator for the global oil and gas industry, following membership support for the project. It will be led by project management and engineering consultancy PDi, with assistance from eight operating companies.
Currently, there is no guidance for the industry on decommissioning pipeline bundles and the study aims to provide a basis for the Department of Energy and Climate Chance (DECC) and stakeholders to assess decommissioning proposals. There are a growing number of North Sea offshore installations due to be decommissioned in the next few years and the topic has been the focus of extensive discussion within the oil and gas industry. More than 470 offshore installations, 10,000 kilometers of pipelines, 15 onshore terminals and around 5,000 wells constitute part of the North Sea infrastructure which will eventually need to be decommissioned in the UK  Continental Shelf (UKCS) at an estimated cost of £20-25 billion. Pipeline bundles allow all of the flow lines, water injection, gas lift, chemical injection and control systems required for a subsea development to be incorporated into one carrier pipe, and offer a number of benefits including protection against external hazards, a reduction in the pipeline corridor and cost savings.
Anthony Onukwu, senior technology analyst from ITF said: “Pipeline bundles may only represent a small percentage of the total length of installed pipeline in the North Sea, but it is essential they are decommissioned in asafe and environmentally responsible manner. “The Department of Energy and Climate Change’s guidelines for the decommissioning of offshore oil and gas installations and pipelines indicate that any new pipeline bundles should be designed for future removal. However, more than 60 pipeline bundles have already been installed in the North Sea, with an estimated combined length of 250km. “Some of these are now approaching decommissioning and currently there are no guidelines on how to do this. This study should be of value to asset owners developing bundle decommissioning programmes and will hopefully provide guidance for DECC and stakeholders when assessing decommissioning proposals.”
A variety of factors, including the type of pipeline and individual circumstances, have to be considered when assessing the options for decommissioning a subsea pipeline. In some cases pipelines may be decommissioned in-situ although complete removal may be the preferred option depending on the circumstances.  Pipeline bundles, however, may present particular issues when it comes to decommissioning which require specific consideration. Graeme MacDougall, operations manager at PDi said: “When it comes to decommissioning, pipeline bundles are substantially different from other pipelines and although they may appear similar to trunk lines, as they have a large diameter and sit on the seabed, unlike trunk lines pipeline bundles are all less than 7.5km long.
“Taking into account their relatively short length, they may seem to have more decommissioning synergies with in-field lines than with trunk lines, but their large diameter generally rules out burial, refloating bundles for recovery poses significant engineering and operational challenges, and cutting it into sections for recovery will involve an extensive subsea intervention campaign and multi-handling of abnormal loads.”  

Maritime Reporter September 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Technology

Ship Emissions: Chevron Lube Gains Key Approval

A new Chevron Marine Lubricants 100 BN cylinder oil, which is designed to offer ship owners the ability to achieve the latest emissions legislation, has received full sign off from a key engine maker.

GAC Starts Hull Cleaning Op'ns in Oman

GAC EnvironHull hull cleaning operations using the brush-and-diver-free HullWiper system starting at the port of Sohar, just outside the Gulf of Hormuz. This

Fukushima Offshore Floating Wind Farm Update

A consortium has been participating in an experimental offshore floating wind farm project sponsored by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry since March 2012.

Offshore

Arctic Oil: Bourbon to Enter Arctic Market in 2016

Bourbon plans to enter the growing Arctic Offshore market in 2016 with a new Anchor Handling Tug Supply (AHTS) vessel built by the Vard shipyard. This AHTS (Anchor

Total CEO: EU Must Fight US Crude Export Law

First major public appearance of new Total head; he challenges European politicians to fight US ban. The new head of French energy major Total challenged Europe to fight Washington over the U.

GAC Starts Hull Cleaning Op'ns in Oman

GAC EnvironHull hull cleaning operations using the brush-and-diver-free HullWiper system starting at the port of Sohar, just outside the Gulf of Hormuz. This

Consulting

SMC to Provide Marine Coordination for Siemens

Specialist Marine Consultants Ltd (SMC) have been working with Siemens, providing offshore marine coordination for a fifth Siemens Wind Power construction project.

Good Performance by Dun & Bradstreet in 3Q 2014

Dun & Bradstreet, the world's leading source of commercial information and insight on businesses, today reported results for the third quarter ended September 30, 2014.

Schlumberger Introduces New Well Integrity Service

Schlumberger announced today the release of Invizion Evaluation* well integrity service, which helps operators evaluate zonal isolation by using integrated drilling, cementing and well logging data.

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Maritime Standards Navigation Offshore Oil Pipelines Pod Propulsion Ship Electronics Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Sonar
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.3398 sec (3 req/sec)