Repsol Sinopec picks Veolia for Buchan decom work

Repsol Sinopec Resources UK has awarded a contract for dismantling and recycling of the Buchan Alpha unit to Veolia to be carried out at its Dales Voe site in Lerwick, Shetland.

After 36 years and almost 150mm barrels of oil, the Buchan Alpha facility in the UK North Sea ceased production, as planned, on May 12, 2017.

Buchan Alpha is a semi-submersible moored floating production vessel, which was originally a drilling rig.

Repsol Sinopec said on Friday that decommissioning plans are well developed and ultimate dismantling and recycling of the vessel was competitively tendered.

The vessel started production in 1981 from the Buchan field, located in blocks 21/1A and 20/5A, approximately 156km northeast of Aberdeen, and has subsequently also produced the nearby Hannay field.

Repsol Sinopec Resources UK has secured Oil & Gas Authority’s (OGA) approval to suspend production of both the Buchan and Hannay fields and is conducting an area strategy review to screen potential field redevelopment options.

Bill Dunnett, Managing Director, Repsol Sinopec Resources UK, said: “Buchan Alpha has made a huge contribution to the UK economy throughout its life, producing more than three times the volume of oil that was originally predicted. We are pleased the decommissioning phase will create further sustained value for the UK supply chain and additional employment for Shetland, building a new model for full facility decommissioning in the UK.”

Paul Wheelhouse, Scottish Government Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy said: “Decommissioning is an emerging, but growing, activity, with £17.6 billion expected to be spent in the North Sea over the next decade, as mature fields reach this stage in their project lifecycle. We are already seeing Scottish-based firms seizing opportunities, and securing the lion’s share of value from a range of decommissioning activities, including project management of decommissioning programs and high value, well-plugging and abandonment activity.”

Gunther Newcombe, Operations Director of the Oil & Gas Authority, said: “The OGA is delighted to see the award of Buchan Alpha decommissioning to Veolia’s Dales Voe site in Shetland as this represents a major step in developing a deeper water decommissioning facility in the UK.”

Estelle Brachlianoff, Senior Executive Vice-President Veolia UK & Ireland said: “We will be targeting a recycling rate of over 98% at the new Dales Voe decommissioning facility in Lerwick where we will work closely with our partners, Peterson and Lerwick Port Authority to boost the local economy by creating 35 jobs and develop strong relationships with the local community.”