Equinor hires M.A.R.S. Europe for Veslefrikk B recycling
Norwegian oil major Equinor has awarded Modern American Recycling Services Europe (M.A.R.S) a contract for deconstruction and recycling of the Veslefrikk B platform in the North Sea offshore Norway.
The Veslefrikk B platform is a semi-submersible production platform, complete with accommodation and process equipment. It is tied to the fixed wellhead platform Veslefrikk A.
Equinor is planning to cease producing from the Veslefrikk field in the first quarter of 2022, after more than 30 years on stream and over 400 million barrels of oil equivalent produced.
Following a plant decommissioning period after cessation of production, Equinor will tow Veslefrikk B to the disposal yard, where the platform will be handed over. The platform will then be towed to M.A.R.S. Europe for deconstruction and disposal.
According to information provided by M.A.R.S., all onshore activities will be performed in Port of Frederikshavn in Denmark.
M.A.R.S did not share any financial details regarding the contract, but it did state that the work would employ around 60 people at its peak. The Veslefrikk B platform weighs about 25,000 tonnes.
According to a recent announcement by Equinor, Veslefrikk B is scheduled to be towed to shore for dismantling in the autumn of 2022 while Veslefrikk A is scheduled to be removed in 2025/26.
As for the field itself, it was discovered in 1981, and when it came on stream in 1989, Veslefrikk’s development concept, as a first on the Norwegian continental shelf, consisted of a floating production unit.
The partnership has invested some NOK 20 billion ($2.38 billion) in Veslefrikk, and the field’s productive life has been extended several times. When the plan for development and production (PDO) was submitted the field was expected to be shut down as early as in 2009.
Equinor is the operator of the field with an 18 per cent interest and its partners are Petoro with 37 per cent, Repsol Norge with 27 per cent, and Wintershall Dea Norge with an 18 per cent stake.