Saipem and Petrofac Collaborate on North Sea Platform Decommissioning Project

Credit: Saipem (File image)
Credit: Saipem (File image)

Oilfield services firm Petrofac has secured a new multi-million-pound deal with Saipem to support the decommissioning of a platform in the UK sector of the North Sea. 

Under the terms of the contract, the companies will work as an integrated team to prepare and remove the 20,000-ton topside of an undisclosed platform, using the Saipem 7000, one of the largest semi-submersible heavy-lifting vessels in the world.

Petrofac will execute the three-year project over two phases: first the preparations onboard the platform, then on the Saipem 7000 for the actual removal campaign. The scope of Petrofac’s contract includes module separation, lift point inspection, lift point installation, riser and caisson severing.

Nick Shorten, Chief Operating Officer of Petrofac’s Asset Solutions business, said: "As our sector pursues cleaner sources of energy, decommissioning is a key enabler for the transition. Supporting Saipem and their customer, we look forward to leveraging our knowledge of North Sea operations and service provision and 20 years of decommissioning experience to deliver a safe and predictable program that can serve as a case study for the North Sea’s transition.”

While Petrofac did not name the platform, it is worth noting that Saipem, in May 2023, won a contract with EnQuest to decommission the Thistle A offshore platform. The Thistle A platform is located around 510 kilometers northeast of Aberdeen, in a water depth of 162 meters. 

Saipem's activities include the engineering, preparation, removal, and disposal of the jacket and topsides, with possible extension to further subsea facilities. The activities will be carried out by the Saipem 7000. The engineering work will begin later in 2023, with removals planned between 2025 and 2027.  

According to the Thistle A decommissioning program, the topside of the platform weighs 19,156t.

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