Allseas Readies for UK Platforms Removal
Swiss vessel operator Allseas is to deploy its Pioneering Spirit to lift Spirit Energy’s 11,000-metric tons DP3 and DP4 installations from the East Irish Sea, field operator Spirit Energy said January 7.
The infrastructure used to produce gas as part of Spirit Energy’s complex of eight installations in Morecambe Bay, which in its heyday produced a large share of the gas needed for UK households in winter. As the field has matured, the reserves the platforms previously tapped into have been produced by the larger, manned Central Morecambe platform nearby.
The 12 wells which were connected to the DP3 and DP4 platforms have already been plugged and abandoned – using a slant rig to accommodate the angle at which the wells were drilled in the 1980s to access the gas reservoir below the seabed – and the platforms will soon be safe to be lifted and taken back to shore.
Spirit Energy said: “After two years of preparing the DP3 and DP4 installations for removal, we’re now looking forward to one of the most significant milestones in the project with the removal of both platforms."
The DP3 and DP4 installations first produced gas in 1985 when the South Morecambe field came online. The area continues to produce enough gas to heat 1mn homes every day thanks to production from the Central Morecambe, North Morecambe. Spirit is owned by UK retailer Centrica (69%) and Stadtwerke Munchen (31%).
Other clients of the vessel include Gazprom, for whom it laid the subsea section of the TurkStream pipeline in the Black Sea and most of NordStream 2 in the Baltic Sea, before sanctions halted work a year ago.