Babcock to support Centrica’s Rough decommissioning

UK-based support services company Babcock is working with Centrica Storage Limited to plan for decommissioning of the Rough 47/8A platforms and infrastructure in the southern North Sea.     

The Rough field is situated 18 miles off the coast of East Yorkshire. There are two offshore installation hubs called 3B and 8A.

Earlier this year, Centrica decided to cease operations at its ageing Rough gas storage facility due to operational issues. The company intends to permanently end Rough’s status as a storage facility, and to produce all recoverable cushion gas from the field, which is estimated at 183 bcf.

Utilizing Babcock’s asset responsibility transfer process, planning for the safe and efficient decommissioning of Centrica’s assets – which comprises two bridge linked platforms currently shut in ahead of decommissioning – is well underway, Babcock said on Thursday.

This initial decommissioning contract for Babcock will provide all aspects of governance and compliance prior to decommissioning operations starting. This initial project phase is anticipated to take up to 12 months.

Ian Lindsay, Managing Director Energy and Marine Technology, Babcock said: “Babcock is delighted to support Centrica as its Rough infrastructure nears decommissioning. With our expertise in project delivery reinforced by our experience across the decommissioning sector – including all aspects of verification, compliance and governance – we are trusted to deliver.”

Managing Director at Centrica Storage, Greg McKenna, said: “With 47/8A now shut in and no longer operational, this is the right time for us to decommission and remove the two bridge-linked platforms and associated infrastructure. We look forward to working closely with Babcock as we ensure the planning is in place ahead of decommissioning Rough safely and in an environmentally responsible way.”

The UK’s Oil and Gas authority has estimated that the decommissioning of North Sea infrastructure could cost £59.7 billion. It has challenged the industry to complete the work for less than £39 billion, commenting that “significant change” would be needed if the lower figure is to be achieved.

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