Aberdeenshire start-up turning North Sea legacy into opportunity

The team at Legasea. From left; Ray Milne (Operations Director); Chris Howley (Service Technician); Lewis Sim (Managing Director); Graham Petrie (Projects Supervisor); Chris Moffat (QHSE Supervisor).
The team at Legasea. From left; Ray Milne (Operations Director); Chris Howley (Service Technician); Lewis Sim (Managing Director); Graham Petrie (Projects Supervisor); Chris Moffat (QHSE Supervisor).

A fledgling firm in Aberdeenshire hopes to capitalise on a “flourishing” future trade in decommissioned oilfield equipment.

Bosses at Legasea said they would recover parts from subsea production systems and make them fit for use once more.

They said breathing new life into components would save oil companies huge amounts of time and money − and reduce the environmental impact of dismantling activity.

Legasea was founded in April by managing director Lewis Sim and operations director Ray Milne, who both worked for Dril-Quip at different times in their careers.

They said recycling and reuse were very different processes.

Oil companies typically recycle the vast majority of the oilfield infrastructure they bring ashore.

But much of the recycled steel ends up being melted down and turned into something completely different.

Mr Milne said “recycling equals destruction” and that “reuse” was a much better option for industry and the environment.

The company will look to harvest and polish up a variety of subsea components, including electrical connectors, hydraulic couplings and sensors.

The parts can then be sold for reuse on producing fields.

Mr Milne said the service would be a real boon for operators who need to quickly get hold of equipment which is no longer widely manufactured and supplied.

Finding or remaking parts which are in scarce supply can be extremely expensive.

Legasea − which currently has five employees, and intends to lift its headcount to 10 by August − is renting a unit at McIntosh Plant Hire’s Birchmoss site near Echt.

The facility, which used to be occupied by Proserv, boasts a 75 tonne overhead crane, a large test tank, warehousing, a workshop, office space and a yard.

Mr Sim said: “We recognise that the environmental impact of our industry has far-reaching consequences and that improvement is always possible.

“We offer an alternative route for unwanted and recovered subsea production systems and will take liability and ownership for the equipment − making it safe, clean and disassembling it to its component parts.

“Reusable parts will then be used to fulfil the demand for urgent remanufacturing and spares when crucial production is at risk during routine preventative maintenance or when an unforeseen failure is encountered subsea.”

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