Decommissioning Programme – Recommendations
The recommendations for the Murchison decommissioning programme, now approved by DECC (see Table of Approved Decommissioning Programmes), are as follows:
- Platform and subsea wells will be plugged and abandoned in accordance with Oil & Gas UK Guidelines.
- Platform topside modules will be removed and returned to shore for reuse, recycling or disposal.
- Platform jacket will be removed down to the top of footings at 44m above the seabed and returned to shore for reuse, recycling or disposal. The jacket footings would then be left in place. (Note: by virtue of its large weight and date of installation the Murchison ‘jacket’ is a candidate for derogation within the scope of OSPAR Decision 98/3 on The Disposal of Disused Offshore Installations.)
- The drill cuttings pile located within the jacket footings will be left in situ to degrade naturally with time.
- On completion of the decommissioning programmes a seabed survey will be undertaken to identify oilfield related debris within the platform 500m zone and a 200m wide corridor along each pipeline. All items of oilfield debris will be categorised and in consultation with DECC a management and recovery plan will be agreed. Following completion of the recovery plan, verification of seabed clearance by an independent organisation will be carried out.
- The short early production pipeline bundles and associated subsea equipment will be removed and returned to shore for recycling or disposal.
- The main oil export line (PL115) will be left in situ with remedial rock placement over exposed sections. The main pipeline tie in spools, at either end, will be removed and returned to shore for recycling or disposal.
- The Murchison PL165 gas import riser will be decommissioned and isolated at the subsea riser tie-in spool as part of the Murchison Field decommissioning programme. This will be in preparation for the future decommissioning of PL165 by the NLGP System Owners.
Please download a short animation describing our recommendations here:
The documentation which preceded the final Decommissioning Programme and underpinned it through the regulatory process, including the derogation case submitted for review by the Contracting Parties, can be viewed in more detail here.