A Canadian oil and gas company has confirmed it will press ahead with plans to decommission a platform on one of the North Sea’s oldest producing fields.
Canadian Natural Resources International (CNRI) said it seek approval to abandon the Ninian North platform, one of three on the field about 240 miles north-east of Aberdeen.
Thought to be the smallest of the three platforms, Ninian North is connected to the Ninian Central platform which exports oil and gas to Sullom Voe.
Calgary-based CNR has owned the field since 2002, when made its debut in the North Sea buying up a package of assets from Kerr-McGee. The £77.6million deal also included the Murchison and Lyell fields. CNR began decommissioning Murchison in 2013.
The Toronto Stock Exchange-listed firm said is launched the plan to decommission the rig last year and has won approval from the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) for “cessation of production” as a first step.
It added its North Sea reserves decreased 15% to 141 million barrels of oil equivalent last year due to production and the “planned abandonment of the Ninian North platform”.
In 2013, CNR said it planned to invest £300million in the Ninian field to extend its life after the UK Government approved an application for a brownfield allowance.
Ninian was discovered in the early 1970s when reserves were assesed at some 3billion barrels of oil, with 1.2billion deemed recoverable.
First commercial oil was achieved on December 23, 1978 – over 38 years ago.
The giant Ninian Central platform is the most notable in the field, sitting on three-quarters of a million tonnes of concrete.
Kishorn yard in Wester Ross constructed the platform which was one of the biggest projects ever worked on at the site.
A spokeswoman for the company said: “CNR International received approval from the Oil & Gas Authority (OGA) on November 30, 2016 on its Cessation of Production application for the Ninian North platform.
“Through 2017, CNR International will be working towards obtaining approval of our planned abandonment program for Ninian North platform.”