Spirit Energy has announced plans to decommission its Bains gas field in the East Irish Sea.
Gas started flowing from the area 17 miles west of Blackpool in 2002, and has since produced 46 billion cubic feet.
It was tied-back to Spirit Energy’s main South Morecambe platform.
The decommissioning programme involves removing over 100 tonnes of equipment from the seabed, which the company says over 95% of which is expected to be recycled.
The plan is expected to be carried out next year if the proposals are approved by the Oil and Gas Authority.
Under the scheme, the well drilled at Bains will be decommissioned and the wellhead protection structure removed.
Donald Martin, the decommissioning project manager for Spirit Energy’s Morecambe Bay fields, said: “While the Morecambe Bay fields continue to produce enough gas to heat 1.5million UK homes, Spirit Energy has maximised the recovery from Bains and now is the right time for us to start decommissioning this element of the field.
“Our focus now is on removing the infrastructure in a safe and environmentally responsible way, and we look forward to working with all of our supply chain partners in completing the project over the coming years.”
The Bains field was named after John Bains, who discovered gas in Morecambe Bay in 1972.
John’s work was initially dismissed by the company that owned the drilling rights to the area, Gulf Oil, which had been focussing on finding oil.
However, thanks to his tenacity, an exploration well was drilled in 1974, with production starting nine years later from one of the UK’s largest gas fields.