Norwegian offshore safety body, the Petroleum Safety Authority (PSA), has given ConocoPhillips consent to prepare and begin the removal of minor structures from the Ekofisk field in the North Sea.
The PSA said on Thursday that the consent also includes the installation of a temporary crane on Ekofisk 2/4 field terminal platform (FTP).
The safety watchdog added that ConocoPhillips applied for consent to dispose of the Ekofisk 2/4 H, Ekofisk 2/4 A, Ekofisk 2/4 FTP, and Ekofisk 2/4 Q platforms.
According to the statement, the PSA gave the company consent for parts of the work.
For now, the consent covers the initiation of preparatory work offshore and the start of the removal of minor structures and installation of the crane on the FTP. The remainder of ConocoPhillips’ consent application will be dealt separately by the PSA.
Regarding the removal itself, Offshore Energy Today reported in April that ConocoPhillips was set to award a contract for the removal of Ekofisk field platforms to Heerema Marine Contractors.
At the time, AF Gruppen, one of the largest civil engineering and construction companies in Norway, claimed that it received notice that ConocoPhillips Skandinavia AS intended to enter into a contract with HMC for the removal and disposal of platforms connected to the Ekofisk field.
AF Gruppen, a key subcontractor to HMC, said that the contract included engineering, preparation, removal & disposal (EPRD) of four platforms with a total tonnage of approximately 36,000 tonnes. The removal is part of ConocoPhillips’ Ekofisk I Cessation plan which should begin in 2017 and end in 2022.
On December 23, 1969, Phillips Petroleum – now ConocoPhillips – informed the Norwegian government that it had discovered Ekofisk – one of the largest offshore oil fields ever found.
The field, located some 200 kilometers south of Stavanger, started production in 1971 via the Gulftide platform, and is in production even today, more than four decades after the original discovery.
The Greater Ekofisk Area today comprises four poducing fields: Ekofisk, Eldfisk, Embla and Tor. Crude oil is exported to Teesside, England, and the natural gas is exported to Emden, Germany.