Spirit Energy Reports Record-Breaking Year in Offshore Decommissioning Activities

DP3 DP4 Jacket lift with the Pioneering Spirit - Allseas
DP3 DP4 Jacket lift with the Pioneering Spirit - Allseas

UK-based oil and gas company Spirit Energy is reporting its busiest year-to-date in decommissioning activities, with offshore campaigns taking place across the Central North Sea (CNS), Southern North Sea (SNS), and East Irish Sea.

The most recent activity to be completed, Spirit Energy said Thursday, is the final phase of the campaign to remove the DP3 and DP4 installations in the Morecambe Bay development in the East Irish Sea. 

Completed by Allseas with its Pioneering Spirit, the largest construction vessel in the world, a total of 9,000-tonnes of jacket structures were removed in tandem using the jacket lift system on the vessel and loaded directly onto the Iron Lady barge to be transferred to Fife for recycling.

In the Central North Sea (CNS), a 14-well P&A program across four fields; Chestnut, Birch, Larch and Sycamore, is being executed from Well-Safe Solutions’ Well-Safe Defender vessel. Chestnut’s well decommissioning has been completed, bringing to an end the 15-year story of the Chestnut field, Spirit Energy said.

CNS well P&A campaign - Picture credit Well-Safe Solutions

Nicholas Riley, Well Operations Manager, Spirit Energy: “The Chestnut campaign has been delivered with exemplary safety and operational performance; this was our ultimate aim when we set out to select our partners for the CNS abandonment campaign. With this first milestone achieved we look forward to the remainder of the campaign.”

In the Southern North Sea (SNS), during a single mobilization, Heerema Marine Contractors has removed three topsides and three jackets with SSCV Thialf crane vessel, and DeepOcean is set to recover subsea infrastructure from six assets later this year. 

The recycling of all structures will be performed by Thompsons of Prudhoe in the Port of Blyth, making Spirit Energy the first users of the decommissioning alliance between the two companies.

SNS Topsides removal - Barge with Audrey B and top of Ensign - Credit: Spirit Energy

Head of Decommissioning and Projects at Spirit Energy, Donald Martin, said: “Combining decommissioning programs and supply chain opportunities at portfolio level has created significant economies of scale with our partners leveraging the capability of their assets. 

"This has also helped create opportunities to share campaign management responsibilities, leading to a lean and agile team. The recent successful completion of the removals of the DP3 and DP4 jackets marks a significant milestone towards our longer-term transition plan for the Morecambe hub being converted into a world-class carbon storage cluster.” 

Spirit Energy, CEO, Neil McCulloch, said: “We are very proud of our efforts and achievements in decommissioning carried out by a first-class team of Spirit employees working collaboratively with the supply chain. 

"Our team has thought strategically and formed long-term, high-value and high-trust relationships with our supply chain partners and we are very pleased to have achieved such a high level of local content and repeat business with UK and Netherlands based firms where our core business lies. Of course, we are also pleased to continually deliver industry leading decommissioning cost performance in line with our stewardship obligations from our regulators.”

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