Oil giant Shell has confirmed that decommissioning work on the Curlew floating production (FPSO) vessel moored in Dundee has been halted.
Contractor Augean was meant to finish the cleaning job on Curlew at the Port of Dundee, ahead of the vessel being sent to Turkey for scrapping.
But Augean has been unable to complete the clean-up in Dundee. It turns out that the parts of the FPSO cannot be cleaned without first being dismantled, but Dundee does not have dedicated ship recycling facilities.
The FPSO will instead be taken to a “yet to be decided” location for dismantling, final cleaning and recycling.
The Curlew decommissioning project employed around 100 workers.
Augean said staff would be redeployed to other projects.
A Shell spokesman said: “Following a change in the scope of the decommissioning of the Curlew FPSO, the decision has been made to proceed to the next stage in this complex project.
“The Curlew will now proceed from the cleaning phase to the dismantling, final cleaning and recycling phase, which will be carried out at a single location in a dedicated ship recycling facility.”
Augean North Sea Services, managing director, Simon Gibb said his firm had “successfully brought the Curlew to a key stage in its decommissioning process prior to dismantling and final stage completion”.
The Curlew will remain at the Port of Dundee for a number of months until a suitable place for dismantling is found.
Work was suspended on the Curlew project in July last year due to an “incident” involving a worker.
A “confined space incident” occurred during tank cleaning in which a male worker had oxygen “interrupted” while in the tank.
Shell said no one was injured.
A spokesman for Forth Ports, who operate the Port of Dundee, added: “Shell and Augean have informed us that the decommissioning of the Curlew has reached the point where it is moving to the next phase of the project and will therefore be leaving the Port of Dundee shortly.”