Approval granted for Dunlin Alpha topsides decom plan

Fairfield has received an approval of its decommissioning program for the Dunlin Alpha topsides, located in the UK North Sea, from the UK authorities. 

Dunlin Alpha

The Dunlin Alpha installation served as the production facility for the Greater Dunlin Area and is located in UK Continental Shelf Block 211/23a, approximately 137 km north east of Shetland and 11 km from the UK/Norwegian median line.

It was installed in 1977 and two subsea tiebacks, Osprey and Merlin, were developed in 1991 and 1997 respectively. During its lifetime, over 522 million barrels of oil were produced from the Greater Dunlin Area.

Termination of production from the Greater Dunlin Area was announced in May 2015, and cessation of production was on June 15, 2015.

The Dunlin Alpha installation consists of a four leg concrete gravity base substructure (CGBS); a steel box girder module support frame deck; and two further levels of modules. The installation stands in 151 m of water and is 240 m high from the seabed to the top of the drilling derrick.

The Dunlin Alpha topsides were designed as a drilling and production facility. The topside is constructed over three levels and weighs approximately 19,640 tonnes. They will be fully removed by optimized reverse installation for onshore recovery and disposal.

It is worth reminding that AF Gruppen in a consortium with Heerema Marine Contractors last December signed a contract with Fairfield for the removal and disposal of the Dunlin Alpha topsides with a total tonnage of approx. 20,000 tonnes.

MCX Dunlin (UK) Limited holds a 100% interest in the Dunlin license and is therefore the owner of all Dunlin infrastructure. Fairfield Betula Limited is the appointed license operator under a joint operating agreement in relation to the Dunlin license with Fairfield as the ‘lead operator’ under the same joint operating agreement in relation to all Dunlin, Osprey, and Merlin facilities.