Repsol Sinopec preparing for Beatrice field decommissioning

Repsol Sinopec UK is set to start a well abandonment program at the UK North Sea’s Beatrice field, ahead of the full decommissioning of offshore facilities there. 

Starting early June 2017 the Ensco 80 jack-up unit will arrive at the Beatrice Charlie to undertake a two well campaign. The jack-up will then move to the Beatrice Bravo platform and undertake similar P&A operations on eleven wells.

Operations are planned to take approximately one year and three months, concluding with the jack-up leaving the Bravo platform in September 2018.

Well plug and abandonment on Beatrice Alpha is currently scheduled to start in 2020 and be completed by 2024.

The plugging and abandonment of the wells is part of Repsol Sinopec’s plans to fully decommission the offshore oil field.

Full decom ahead

The Beatrice oil field that stopped producing in 2015 is located around 22 kilometers from Helmsdale on the north east coastline of Scotland in the outer Moray Firth.

Repsol Sinopec, the operator, is working on plans to fully decommission the oil field, including five platforms, two demonstrator wind turbines, pipelines and cables. The work will include plugging and abandoning of all 43 platform wells. Beatrice field had been producing oil since 1981.

The oil company said it expects that the consultation draft Decommissioning Programme will be submitted to the UK regulators and be available for public consultation in Q1 2018, with approval expected in the third quarter of 2018.

The current schedule for platform and subsea facility removal operations for the Beatrice field facilities is expected to within the window 2024 to 2027, Repsol said.


The Beatrice field


The Beatrice field was discovered in the mid-1970s by MESA Petroleum and reached peak oil production in 1985.  Ithaca Energy leased the offshore facilities from Talisman Energy UK Limited in 2008, including the Nigg onshore terminal and 16” export line from Beatrice to Nigg for a minimum of three years.

Talisman Energy UK Limited retained decommissioning liability for the Beatrice facilities under the terms of the lease. During Ithaca’s operatorship of Beatrice, the Jacky Field was developed, with the installation in 2009 of a normally unmanned platform 10km to the north east of Beatrice AP.

The development of Jacky extended the economic viability of the Beatrice Field for several years.  Ithaca then gave back the Beatrice facilities to Talisman Sinopec Energy UK in January 2014 which initiated a review of potential options for continued and future field use, and ultimately led to the cessation of production at Beatrice in March 2015.

As for the Jacky platform, Ithaca will retain the decommissioning liability along with its associated wells, infield pipeline and subsea structures. These will be subject to a separate Decommissioning Programme and EIA process.



Below is the full timeline of the past and future activities at the Beatrice field, as shared by Repsol Sinopec UK



  • MESA Petroleum Co. strikes oil in the Beatrice field


  • Project development approval awarded


  • Oil production starts, led by BNOC


  • BP acquires oil field and facilities from Britoil (formerly BNOC)


  • Talisman Energy acquires oil field and facilities from BP


  • 59 kilometres replacement section of oil export pipeline installed


  • Beatrice decommissioning programme approved by DECC in anticipation of eventual decommissioning, based on reuse of the platform complex by the Ministry of Defence


  • Two demonstrator wind turbines installed to supply power to the Beatrice facilities


  • Ithaca Energy takes over Beatrice facilities to aid productions at its Jacky platform, tied back to Beatrice. Talisman Energy retains eventual decommissioning liability


  • Joint venture created between Talisman Energy and Sinopec – Talisman Sinopec Energy UK Limited
  • Ministry of Defence withdraws from reuse agreement for Beatrice


  • Early stage studies initiated by Talisman-Sinopec Energy UK to inform Beatrice decommissioning pre-planning


  • Ithaca Energy gives one year notice of intention to withdraw from Beatrice in January 2015
  • Environmental and pipeline surveys commissioned by decommissioning team to inform planning
  • Draft Scoping Report for the Environmental Impact Assessment published for stakeholder comment


  • Beatrice returns to the Talisman Sinopec (Repsol Sinopec)
  • Comparative assessment of pipeline decommissioning options undertaken
  • Stakeholder review of potential pipeline removal options and broader decommissioning proposals


  • Decision taken on timing and shape of decommissioning programme
  • B&C well abandonment campaign planned and approved


  • Alpha well abandonment planning



  • B&C well abandonment
  • B&C flushing & cleaning scopes


  • Alpha well abandonment preparation


  • Alpha well abandonment