Heerema's Thialf Removes Shell's Goldeneye Platform

Credit: Heerema Marine Contractors
Credit: Heerema Marine Contractors

Heerema Marine Contractors has removed Shell's Goldeneye wellhead platform in the North Sea.

Using its heavy lift crane vessel Thialf, Heerema removed the 1280 metric ton topside and the 3019 metric ton jacket before transportation to the AF Environmental Base in Norway for recycling and reuse. Interestingly, Heerema installed the platform back in 2003.

The Goldeneye platform was located in the Central North Sea, in the United Kingdom Continental Shelf, around 100 km northeast of the Aberdeenshire coast. 

The platform included five platform wells in 120 m water depth with a direct tie-back via the Goldeneye pipeline to the St. Fergus onshore facility. It was operational as a gas-producing field from 2004, and cessation of production was granted in March 2011. The decommissioning plan for the platform was approved in November 2019.

Heerema said that the Goldeneye platform was removed using Heerema's reverse installation method, starting with removing the 1280 metric ton topside in a single lift. After removal, the topside was transferred to Thialf's deck for transportation.

The Goldeneye jacket involved cutting skirt piles using Deco Subsea's internal abrasive water jet cutting techniques at -3m below the seabed. After which, the 3019 metric ton jacket was safely removed and remained suspended in Thialf's cranes for transportation to Vats, Norway.

The Goldeneye platform has been set down AF Environmental Base yard in Vats, Norway, to be dismantled for reuse and recycling. It is anticipated that over 97% of the material will be recycled. 

The Thialf vessel will now undergo yard maintenance, including modifications to the vessel’s A-Frame to enable Thialf to expand its service area and deliver solutions in the Baltic and the Black Sea regions, Heerema said.

To remind, prior to moving to the Goldeneye location, Thialf had removed Ithaca Energy's Jacky unmanned wellhead platform.

The Jacky field is located 19 kilometers east of Scotland’s Moray Firth Caithness coast. It ceased production in 2014.

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