Port of Blyth Launches Largest Oil & Gas Decommissioning Project for North Sea Platforms
Posted 04/09/2023 11:54
The Port of Blyth in the UK is embarking on its most extensive oil and gas decommissioning endeavor to date, encompassing multiple topsides and jackets from three North Sea platforms. These structures were expertly removed by Heerema Marine Contractors' Thialf semi-submersible crane vessel, marking a significant milestone for the port.
Three topsides and three jackets, removed during a single mobilization by Heerema Marine Contractors' Thialf vessel, have found their new home at the Port of Blyth's Battleship Wharf terminal. This terminal serves as the port's decommissioning facility, operated in partnership with Thompsons of Prudhoe, the principal contractor and designer for this ambitious project.
As part of the decommissioning campaign, DeepOcean is slated to recover subsea infrastructure from six assets later this year. With these structures now safely removed from the North Sea, Thompsons of Prudhoe will oversee their recycling at the Port of Blyth. The structures were transferred from two barges to the decommissioning facility using Self-Propelled Modular Transporters (SPMTs) and placed on purpose-built stools in preparation for demolition.
With a total weight of approximately 7,000 tonnes, this operation showcased the Port of Blyth's exceptional handling capabilities, requiring meticulous planning and precise coordination. Multiple contractors from the port's supply chain played pivotal roles in the success of this project, including Mammoet, which assisted with the SPMT operations, and Harlyn Solutions, providing support for design and engineering works during the load-out.
Martin Lawlor, Chief Executive at Port of Blyth, emphasized the synergy between the port's offshore energy cargo-handling expertise and Thompsons of Prudhoe's decommissioning and demolition proficiency. This collaboration ensures top-tier service based on quality, safety, and performance, establishing a strong track record for high-profile decommissioning projects and laying the foundation for continued support in the offshore energy sector.
Following the safe delivery of the three topsides and jackets, Thompsons of Prudhoe will proceed with structural inspections, surveys, and necessary safety measures before initiating the demolition phase, which will involve mechanical means and precision lifting operations. The focus on waste sorting and segregation throughout the project will enable a high percentage of recycling in the coming weeks and months.
Tom Koerner, Operations Director of Thompsons of Prudhoe, expressed enthusiasm for the opportunity to decommission these assets and showcase their capabilities to the offshore industry. This project serves as a strong platform for future onshore dismantling and waste disposal requirements.
Situated on the UK's east coast, midway between Aberdeen and Great Yarmouth, the Port of Blyth's decommissioning facility spans 2.3 hectares and has the capacity to handle up to 50,000 tonnes of materials annually, including Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material (NORM). The port is strategically positioned to serve all sectors of the North Sea.
Heerema Marine Contractors has been involved in various decommissioning projects in recent years, including another platform removal campaign executed by its Thialf vessel off the UK coast a few months ago.