Fairfield submits decommissioning plan for PL5 offshore pipeline

Fairfield Energy has submitted its draft decommissioning program for the Dunlin Alpha to Cormorant Alpha pipeline (PL5) located off the UK to the UK authorities. 

Dunlin subsea facilities. Source: Fairfield

The decommissioning program is for the PL5 pipeline and associated equipment only, which is part of a wider suite of decommissioning programs for the Greater Dunlin Area.

The Dunlin subsea facilities are the subject of separate, approved decommissioning programs, while the decommissioning program for the Dunlin Alpha installation is currently under consideration by the relevant authorities.

Fairfield Betula Limited is the appointed pipeline operator for PL5, which is owned by three joint venture groups: Dunlin Field Group, which owns 32.9 % equity interest in PL5; Thistle Field Group, which owns 39.3 % equity interest in PL5; and, Murchison Field Group, which owns 27.8 % equity share in PL5.

The Greater Dunlin Area consists of the Dunlin, Dunlin South West, Osprey and Merlin Fields, located in the Shetland Basin of the northern North Sea. The Dunlin Alpha platform served as the production facility for the Greater Dunlin Area and is located in block 211/23a, approximately 137 km north east of Shetland and 11 km from the UK / Norwegian median line, in a water depth of 151 m.

Termination of production from the Greater Dunlin Area was announced in May 2015, having Maximized Economic Recovery (MER) from these oilfields. Cessation of Production (COP) occurred on June 15, 2015.

Pipeline PL5 is a rigid 34.2 km concrete-clad 24” diameter pipeline installed in 1975. PL5 historically transported stabilized production fluids from Thistle Alpha, Murchison and the Dunlin cluster into the Brent Pipeline System. It now only transports fluids from Thistle Alpha and this arrangement will be terminated in 2019.

The program entails decommissioning in situ of trenched sections of PL5 with exposed pipeline ends cut and recovered and severed ends rock dumped. Anode skids, spools and partially buried mattresses will be recovered to shore for disposal. Groutbags, buried mattresses and existing rock cover will be decommissioned in situ.

Dunlin field location. Source: Fairfield

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