Staffa pipelinesystem disposed onshore

Jan 30, 1997 01:00 AM

UK energy minister Lord Fraser of Carmyllie has approved the onshore decommissioning and disposal of the Staffa pipeline system, operated by UK Lasmo. "Onshore disposal has been shown as the most sensible solution to decommissioning the pipeline system," Lord Fraser said. Removal of the 9.5 km long oil production pipeline, which runs in a trench from the former wellheads on the Staffa field to the Ninian Southern platform, represents the second phase in the decommissioning of the field. DSND Oceantech has been awarded the contract to decommission the Staffa pipeline system, valued at approximately $ 3.5 mm. Under the scope of the plan, the oil pipeline and 10 km control umbilical will be removed, for onshore disposal or recycling. The pipeline and umbilical will be recovered by the construction and pipelay vessel Fennica, using the reverse reeling technique. All pipeline crossings, supports and protection structures will be dismantled and removed by the diving support vessel Aquamarine. A windowbetween February and November this year has been allocated for the offshore work, with pipeline removal expected to take place in June. Onshore disposal could take place from July onwards. The pipeline will be brought ashore to a licensed waste management site, probably in Northeast England. The first phase in the decommissioning plan involved the killing and cementing of the two wells on the Staffa field, and the recovery of the wellhead protection structure and wellhead assemblies for disposal onshore. The Coflexip Stena vessels Seawell and Orelia carried out this work, which was completed in January last year.
The Staffa field, located in block 3/8b, was developed as a subsea tie- back of two existing wells to the Ninian Southern platform. The field began production in March 1992, peaking at 11,000 bpd of oil, and 18 mmcfpd of gas. Within a year of operation, output suffered due to a build-up of wax in the pipeline, and a 2 km section was replaced. Output came to an end in November 1994, due to a wax blockage. Lasmo said various options were studied to reinstate production. Almost 4 mmb of oil had been produced, and given the low level of remaining reserves, no economically viable options were identified. In March 1995, Lasmo applied for Department of Trade and Industry approval for cessation of production. The company has a 60% stake in the field and is operator, with Ranger Oil holding the remaining 40%.

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