Global Maritime

UK Decommissioning new concept

There is perhaps no more challenging process than decommissioning large offshore oil & gas platforms. The traditional way to decommission such large assets is to transfer them to the nearest ultra-deep water (UDW) port.
However, the UK does not have natural UDW ports. Because of this, the UK is usually left out from the decommissioning of large platforms, losing valuable business.
Over the next years, decommissioning of ageing offshore infrastructure will be one of the major challenges facing the global oil and gas industry.

With this in mind, Bureau Veritas Solutions Marine & Offshore in collaboration with Forth and Tay Decommissioning alliance (F&TD) developed a new concept that provides an alternative to the traditional decommission process in the North Sea.
Decommissioning vessels would bring assets from the North Sea, and transfer modules/ entire topsides, onto a system of barges. The barges receive these assets and would then be towed by tugs to bring them to ports for decommissioning.


To illustrate this innovative concept and increase the attractiveness of Scottish ports for the North Sea Decommissioning Industry Bureau Veritas Solution contacted Salt to develop an image able to demonstrate the different steps of the new decommissioning process. The flagship picture seen here attempts to convey the entire concept in one single picture. In the foreground, we have a large semi-submersible decommissioning vessel arriving from the North Sea caring a decommissioning top side. From the bottom right corner, a tug is pushing in a barge on to which sea fastenings have been arranged to receive the decommissioning top side.

Unlike the large heavy lift semi-submersible, these shallow barges can be pushed or towed by tugs through the shallow entries of the Scottish rivers to bring them to the ports for decommissioning.
In the background we see the jack-up foundation of another structure being towed into port and in the mid field we see two barges with other decommissioned assets on board awaiting their turn to be moved inshore for processing.