Tullow Oil has awarded a contract to Jee Ltd, the subsea engineering and training firm, to investigate the most appropriate options for decommissioning their Thames area assets.
The contract relates to the decommissioning of the Horne, Wren, Wissey, Orwell and Thurne fields in the Southern North Sea. In order to decommission these assets, Tullow has submitted decommissioning programmes to the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) which have been approved, along with a joint environmental impact assessment with Perenco (co-operators of the Thames field).
Tullow has asked Jee to review the approach specified in their decommissioning programmes for these assets, and re-define the most appropriate decommissioning options for the subsea sections.
The study, due to be completed over the next two months, will assess what infrastructure can be left in situ. In instances where removal is deemed necessary, Jee will look for process efficiency to reduce associated costs, the company said. Jee’s assessment will include decommissioning options for the associated components such as mattresses and grout bags.
Graham Wilson, Head of Late Life at Jee, said: “Leaving subsea infrastructure in situ, also referred to as derogation, can be the best option from a safety, environmental and economical perspective provided no increased risk to other users of the sea.”
Jim Buston, Business Development Manager at Jee, commented: “We are delighted to be working with Tullow Oil on a project which has the potential to save them, and indeed the taxpayer, millions of pounds in unnecessary removal of materials. At a time when budgets and spending are being cut across the board, pragmatic approaches to the challenges of decommissioning are of paramount importance. Derogation is just one way which we are working with our clients to look for economically and ecologically more sensible solutions.”