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 Today


The Maritime Industry's original and most viewed E-News Service

Maritime Reporter July 2016 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Technology

Can Bandwidth Supply Keep up with Maritime Demand?

In the next few years, demand for bandwidth on the high seas will grow, in no small part due to technology that is making operations more efficient and keeping crews and passengers healthy,

Drones: Is the Maritime Industry Ready?

Unmanned aerial systems (UAS), or “drones” in common parlance, are not a part of the historical maritime vocabulary. At least not yet. While the term “drones” may conjure images from science fiction,

Servowatch to Debut New Software at SMM

Integrated ship control systems supplier Servowatch said it will use SMM to launch its new automation and control software, WINMON 9.   WINMON 9 is a singular,

Offshore

Cambodia Urged ASEAN to Avoid Words That Escalate Tension

Cambodia advised a grouping of South East Asian nations to avoid using words that "would escalate tension between China and the Philippines" in a weekend statement,

Summer Cruise to North Sea Oil Rigs Amazes Tourists

Bored with palm-fringed beaches and turquoise seas? Then the gigantic oil platforms of the North Sea beckon. The first ever "rig-spotting" cruise just ended off the coast of Norway,

Staying Afloat Down Under?

In recent years, Australia has been a major growth area for offshore gas production and a key driver of offshore CAPEX, says Clarksons Research.   However, the

Consulting

BMT to Lead Repower for Historic USCG Eagle

BMT Designers & Planners, a subsidiary of BMT Group, an international maritime design, engineering and risk management consultancy, is leading the effort to repower the historic U.

RINA Closes Edif Group Acquisition

RINA S.p.A, the holding company of the multinational testing, inspection, certification and consulting engineering group based in Genoa, Italy, has announced that

CNO Visits Chinese North Sea Fleet

Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. John Richardson visited Chinese North Sea Fleet headquarters, July 20 to meet with fleet commander Vice Adm. Yuan Yubai. The

 
 
Maritime Contracts Maritime Security Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Navigation Pod Propulsion Port Authority Ship Repair Ship Simulators Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | 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: 0.0793 sec (13 req/sec)