DeepOcean completes “significant” decommissioning project on Dunlin Alpha platform offshore UK

October 03, 2023

(WO) – Ocean services provider DeepOcean has successfully completed a significant decommissioning project on Fairfield Energy’s Dunlin Alpha platform on the UK Continental Shelf.

As part of its scope, subsea specialist DeepOcean removed 6 subsea conductors and 4 vertical supports at varying water depths and removed the upper conductor guideframes with an estimated weight of 400 tonnes, together with the design and installation of bespoke clamps.

The entire decommissioning project was completed within 12-16 weeks from contract award to offshore execution. DeepOcean’s expedited engineering solutions ensured a safe project with zero lost time incidents (LTIs), to the satisfaction of Fairfield Energy.

“The project required intensive dynamic and structural analysis to enable the removal of the upper conductor guideframes. The scope also required significant shallow water ROV operations for the removal of the upper guideframe and conductors. With high-end subsea engineering involved, together with specialist subsea tools and technologies required to execute the project, coupled with our attention to high quality and safe project delivery, I would classify it as a flagship project for DeepOcean,” said Gary Scott, UK Commercial Manager & Legal Counsel at DeepOcean.

DeepOcean’s robust engineering, tooling, rigging design, engineered contingency options and spares packages, allowed DeepOcean to ensure weather downtime on the decommissioning project was negligible throughout. This provided Fairfield Energy with necessary comfort that the scope would be completed within the summer of 2023, thereby avoiding the risk of loose conductors experiencing another winter period in field.

DeepOcean’s Aberdeen office was responsible for engineering and project management, with support from the company’s Haugesund and Stavanger offices in Norway. The offshore work was conducted from the hybrid-battery powered CSV Edda Freya.

Key subcontractors who assisted in delivering the scope of work include Claxton, Machtech and Global Energy Group.

The Dunlin Alpha installation, located approximately 137 km northeast of Shetland and in a water depth of 151 m, produced its first oil in 1978. In the 37 years that followed, more than 522 MMbbl of oil were recovered from the Greater Dunlin Area, comprising the Dunlin, Dunlin S/W, Osprey and Merlin fields. Fairfield Energy acquired the assets in 2008 and took over full operatorship in 2014, maximizing production during its late-life stage and then progressing its subsequent decommissioning programs.

DeepOcean applies its specialist subsea engineering and project management competence to ocean-based industries such as offshore renewables, oil and gas, subsea minerals and recycling of subsea infrastructure. Across these industries, the group delivers marine services such as seabed surveys, engineering, project management, installation, inspection, maintenance and repair (IMR) services.

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