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Equinor awards Heimdal and Veslefrikk decommissioning contracts

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Oilfield Technology,

Equinor has chosen Heerema Marine Contractors Nederland SE for removal, dismantling and recycling of the topsides and jackets of the Heimdal riser platform, Heimdal main platform and Veslefrikk A platform in the North Sea.

The three contracts have been awarded on behalf of Gassco as operator of the Heimdal riser platform and on behalf of the partners of the Heimdal and Veslefrikk licences.

The Veslefrikk partners plan to shut down the field permanently in the spring of 2022. Well plugging started earlier this year. Equinor and Gassco, who are operators of the two platforms on the Heimdal field, have over time studied the best possible use of the installations and the area before deciding a shutdown.

A decommissioning plan has been submitted to the authorities. The time for shutdown and start of removal is to be decided by the Heimdal partners during the summer of 2021.

In addition to the platforms, the contracts will also include removal, dismantling and recycling of the gangway connecting the two Heimdal platforms, as well as a subsea pre-drill template connected to Veslefrikk A.

Heerema has sent a letter of intent to Aker Solutions AS for dismantling and recycling of the platforms at their decommissioning facilities on Stord after they have been brought to shore. All onshore activities will be performed on Stord over a period of 2-3 years. This work is expected to employ around 100 people at peak.

“Decommissioning operations on the Norwegian continental shelf will create important activity for the supplier industry,” said Camilla Salthe, senior vice president of Field Life Extension (FLX) in Equinor.

The topsides and jackets of the three platforms have a combined weight of approximately 68 000 t. The removal method has been adapted to each individual platform and Heerema´s heavy lift vessels Sleipnir and Thialf. Each topside will be lifted on board the heavy lift vessel in one or several parts.

The installations on the Veslefrikk and Heimdal fields will have a very high degree of recycling, up to 98%.

“The main factors of a successful decommissioning project are no personal injuries, serious incidents or emissions to the environment. To prevent personal injuries during demolition work, Equinor requires, inter alia, the contractor to utilise a high degree of machine-based cutting to remove personnel from hazardous work operations,” says Salthe.

Plans call for final production shutdown on the Veslefrikk field during spring 2022, while gas and condensate processing on the Heimdal field is to be discontinued in 2022 or 2023.

The Heimdal riser platform will be removed in 2024, at the earliest, while the Heimdal main platform and the Veslefrikk A platform will be removed no earlier than in 2025. Field Life Extension (FLX) has corporate responsibility for carrying out decommissioning projects for Equinor on the Norwegian continental shelf.

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The November/December issue of Oilfield Technology begins by reviewing the state of the North Sea before moving on to cover a range of topics, including Drilling Technologies, Deepwater Operations, Flow Control.

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