Norfolk’s offshore firms set to benefit from platform dismantling scheme

A Shell logo at a petrol station in London. Photo: Yui Mok/PA Wire

A Shell logo at a petrol station in London. Photo: Yui Mok/PA Wire - Credit: PA

A number of companies from the region are likely to benefit from the dismantling of a large North Sea platform, it is hoped.

Shell has begun consultation over the decommissioning programme for the Leman BH platform which was built as living quarters for up to 48 personnel working on Leman BT and Leman BK platforms.

The living quarters became redundant following the decommissioning of the Leman BK platform in the mid-1990s, the remaining bridge-linked Leman BH and BT platforms becoming normally unattended installations.

The functions of Leman BH, located 50 miles off Norfolk, have since been limited to providing power to the Leman BT platform and helicopter access and temporary overnight shelter for personnel visiting it.

Shell has taken the decision to remove the Leman BH platform and transfer all of its functions to Leman BT; this will cut maintenance costs while not affecting Leman field production.

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There were no alternative uses for the Leman BH platform; it had been considered for re-use as an accommodation platform at Clipper PW, but due to its age and integrity, this option was rejected.

The plan will involve a reverse installation method which will see the removal of the topsides, bridge, and jacket using a heavy lift vessel. The approximate weight of the platform is 1605 tonnes.

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Simon Gray, CEO of East of England Energy Group, said: 'There are no heavy lift vessels in UK ownership so the lifting work will certainly not go to a UK company.

'Due to its size, and the fact that it is to be done in one piece as opposed to being broken up into small pieces, I think it is unlikely that it will be decommissioned in Great Yarmouth. However, I believe a number of local companies will still benefit from the work.

'As a rough guide approximately 70pc of the decommissioning value is in sub sea and other areas as opposed to the top side and jacket removal.'

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