Northern Producer FPF; Source: Kishorn Port

Gallery: 47-year-old rig converted into FPF enters UK port’s dry dock ahead of decom work

Following decades of service, a former semi-submersible drilling rig, which was turned into a floating production facility (FPF), is going to be decommissioned at the UK’s Kishorn Port (KPL), a 50/50 joint venture between Ferguson Transport (Spean Bridge) and Leiths (Scotland).

Northern Producer FPF; Source: Kishorn Port

A few months ago, Kishorn confirmed it was harboring Northern Offshore’s Northern Producer FPF, previously known as Nortroll, Ali Baba, and Emerald Producer. This vessel arrived at the Scottish port in April 2021, following removal from EnQuest’s Don fields in the North Sea.

Originally constructed in 1976 by Trosvik Framnaes in Norway as an Aker H-3 semi-submersible drilling rig, the Northern Producer FPF, which was converted in 1991 and upgraded in 1997 and 2007, worked on the fields before the oil and gas player decided to call a halt to the production from the field in March 2021 as it had reached its “economic limit.” 

In an update on Monday, October 9, 2023, Kishorn Port confirmed that it had welcomed the floating production unit into the dry dock on Sunday, October 8, 2023. According to the port, the dock gates will go back in, sealed again and the dock pumped dry in the coming days. Afterward, preparations are expected to get underway for the decommissioning, recycling, and any possible reuse of the 12,500 Gt.

While providing more information on the decommissioning work for the FPF, Kishorn said: “A huge shout out to KPL, Ferguson Transport & Shipping, the shore-based marine services team, Green Marine (UK) Ltd, Jifmar Scotland, Shearwater Marine Services Ltd, Ross-shire Diving Services Ltd, Chisholm’s Recovery Specialists, Interocean Marine Services and of course our client Northern Offshore Ltd. This has been a long time coming and we are delighted to have landed the contract to receive the vessel in for decommissioning and recycling.

“We believe that this will be the first time that works of this nature, will be carried out in a dry dock, with a semi-submersible FPV, a first for KPL and Kishorn Port under the EU recycling license. Some survey work will follow once high and dry and the necessary steps in our EU licensing process will follow, working closely with SEPA, HSE the asset owner.”

KPL underlines that the future decommissioning, demolition, and recycling of the Northern Producer FPF will be carried out by the lead contractor, Liberty Industrial, working closely with the port and its partners.

This announcement comes after Kishorn revealed that Noble Corporation’s jack-up rig left the port after ten months.

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This rig is slated to kick off its ten-month contract with Harbour Energy for the provision of accommodation services at the Judy field in the UK sector of the North Sea in December 2023.