The UK Government has approved Spirit Energy's decommissioning program for the Ensign platform in the Southern North Sea.
The normally unmanned platform, comprising a steel jacket and topsides, is located at Ensign field, approximately 109 km west of Easington on the coast of Norfolk in water depths of around 25 meters. The platform was built at Heerema Hartlepool yard and installed by Seaway Heavy Lifting’s Stanislav Yudin.
The gas field started producing in 2012. The two platform wells and single subsea well were plugged and abandoned in July 2019. The cessation of production justification for Ensign was accepted by the Oil and Gas Authority on March 5, 2020.
Spirit Energy's decommissioning plan proposes multiple removal options for the topsides and the four-legged steel jacket. These include single lift removal of topsides along with jacket using a semi-submersible crane vessel, or a piece by piece dismantling of the topsides and then the removal of the jacket as a single unit.
Once removed, the topsides and the jacket will be moved to shore for re-use, recycling, and final disposal to landfill as appropriate. A final decision on the decommissioning method will be made following a commercial tendering process, Spirit Energy said in its decommissioning plan.
The start of offshore decommissioning activities will depend on commercial agreements and commitments, the DP reads.
OEDigital.com has reached out to Spirit Energy, seeking more info on the preferred removal method and on the expected decommissioning work start-up schedule.
A Spirit Energy spokesperson said: "The status per now is that the tendering process has not yet concluded; it has taken time as it was an extensive pre-qualification and tender process involving multiple entities to realize an optimum solution for all stakeholders."