Norwegian oil and gas company Equinor has received consent from Norway's oil and gas industry safety body the Petroleum Safety Authority (PSA) for disposal of the facilities on the Veslefrikk field in the North Sea.
"Equinor has applied to the PSA for consent for the disposal of the facilities on the Veslefrikk field. We have now granted the company this consent," the PSA said Thursday.
The Petroleum Act requires the developer of a field to pay for and to carry out – including full or partial removal of facilities and equipment after the production period has ended. The removal work must take place pursuant to the HSE regulations for the petroleum activities, and on the basis of considerations including consent and decommissioning plans, the PSA said.
Veslefrikk is a field located in the northern part of the North Sea, 30 kilometers north of the Oseberg field. The water depth is 185 meters.
Veslefrikk was discovered in 1981, and the plan for development and operation (PDO) was approved in 1987. The field is developed with two facilities, Veslefrikk A and Veslefrikk B. Veslefrikk A is a fixed steel wellhead facility with bridge connection to Veslefrikk B. Veslefrikk B is a semi-submersible facility for processing and accommodation. Production started in 1989.
A decommissioning plan was submitted in 2020 and plugging and abandonment of the wells is ongoing, the PSA added.
Almost exactly a year ago, on February 22, 2021, Equinor said it had with its partners decided to shut down the Veslefrikk field in the Norwegian part of the North Sea in the spring of 2022.
"After more than 30 years on stream and over 400 million barrels of oil equivalent the Veslefrikk partnership is now planning for shutdown of the field in the spring of 2022. The plugging of wells has already started," Equinor said at the time.
Once the field is shut down, it will have produced more than 400,000,000 barrels of oil equivalent, Geir Sørtveit, Equinor’s senior vice present for Operations West said last year.
Equinor in 2021 awarded contracts for the removal, dismantling, and recycling work related to Veslefrikk platforms to M.A.R.S, Aker Solutions, and Heerema Marine Contractors.