The decommissioning of a North Sea platform will create 35 jobs in Shetland.
Repsol Sinopec Resources UK (RSRUK) said today that its Buchan Alpha platform would be dismantled by Veolia at its Dales Voe site in Lerwick.
The vessel started production in 1981 from the Buchan field, about 100miles north-east of Aberdeen.
The nearby Hannay field, which achieved first oil in 2002, was also served by Buchan Alpha.
The rig took on almost 150million barrels of oil over a 36 year stretch.
Production was suspended last month.
RSRUK said it had agreed a revised safety case with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) that would lead to the platform being removed from the Buchan field by 2018.
HSE had concerns about the design and longevity of the platform. Primarily, it was concerned about fatigue in the rig’s legs.
RSRUK is currently carrying out a review of potential field redevelopment options.
RSRUK managing director Bill Dunnett said: “Buchan Alpha has made a huge contribution to the UK economy throughout its life, producing more than three times the volume of oil that was originally predicted.
“We are pleased the decommissioning phase will create further sustained value for the UK supply chain and additional employment for Shetland, building a new model for full facility decommissioning in the UK. “
Estelle Brachlianoff, senior executive vice-president, Veolia UK & Ireland, said: “We will be targeting a recycling rate of over 98% at the new Dales Voe decommissioning facility in Lerwick where we will work closely with our partners, Peterson and Lerwick Port Authority to boost the local economy by creating 35 jobs and develop strong relationships with the local community.”
Oil and Gas Authority operations director Gunther Newcombe said: “We are delighted to see the award of Buchan Alpha decommissioning to Veolia’s Dales Voe site in Shetland as this represents a major step in developing a deeper water decommissioning facility in the UK.”
Paul Wheelhouse, Scotland’s business, innovation and energy minister, said: “This is great news, which clearly demonstrates the skills, capabilities and competitiveness of Scotland’s supply chain in securing this contract.
“Decommissioning is an emerging, but growing, activity, with £17.6billion expected to be spent in the North Sea over the next decade, as mature fields reach this stage in their project lifecycle.
“We are already seeing Scottish-based firms seizing opportunities, and securing the lion’s share of value from a range of decommissioning activities, including project management of decommissioning programmes and high value, well-plugging and abandonment activity.”