Petrodec has successfully removed topsides from the A2D platform at the Amethyst field in the southern North Sea ahead of dismantling in the Netherlands.
A joint operation by Perenco and decommissioning services specialist Petrodec, the removal was carried out using the latter’s patented “skidding” technique – in which the structure was move onto the dedicated jack-up rig ERDA. With a weight of 1,179 tonnes, Petrodec said it was the heaviest topside to have been removed from the field so far.
Perenco received the green light from the UK Government in 2020 to remove the four Amethyst gas field platforms from the Southern North Sea, about 30 miles east of the Yorkshire coast.
Last year it also handed over operatorship of A2D to Petrodec to carry out the works.
The milestone removal follows a hydrocarbon safe (HCS) campaign across all four platforms and brine flushing of intra-field and export pipelines, the plug and abandon of all platform wells, and the removal of C1D, B1D and A2D topsides which weighed a combined 2,900 tonnes.
The final operation to remove topsides and four steel jackets at the A1D platform are scheduled from January 2024. All topsides so far, including A2D, have been moved to Vlissingen in the Netherlands for final dismantling and recycling.
Petrodec’s expertise and Perenco’s integrated approach
Commenting on the removal of the latest structure, Petrodec general manager Rainier Verhulst said: “The successful and safe skidding operation to remove the heaviest topside to date exemplifies Petrodec’s technical ingenuity as a decommissioning specialist, bringing together the technical expertise of a contractor and the reliability of a decommissioning operator.
“It also clearly highlights Perenco’s integrated approach to late-life assets, first extending the production lifespan of assets by operational efficiencies and investment, then developing innovative and fit-for-purpose solutions to safely decommission the facilities. I would like to thank all of those involved.”
Amethyst was one of the later-life assets acquired by Perenco from BP in 2012 as part a package of SNS assets.
Perenco subsequently consolidated its position to 100% on Amethyst by acquiring the participating interests of Centrica and Murphy Oil.
Amethyst consisted of four conventional fixed jacket wellhead structures with helipads and cranes installed and brought into production between 1989 and 1991.
The platforms A1D, A2D, B1D and C1D had six or nine slots, and six or seven producing wells. The field stopped producing in 2020, following which Perenco UK started the application for decommissioning operations in collaboration with Petrodec – a service provider in which the group is an investor.