The Shell Curlew FPSO (floating production storage and offloading vessel), which had been moored in Dundee for decommissioning work, has left the port.
Contractor Augean was meant to finish the cleaning job on Curlew ahead of the vessel being sent to Turkey for scrapping.
But the firm has been unable to complete the work as parts of the FPSO cannot be cleaned without being dismantled – and Dundee doesn’t have dedicated ship recycling facilities.
The Curlew FPSO is instead now on her way to Norway.
The Curlew decommissioning project employed about 100 workers. Augean said staff would be redeployed to other projects.
A Shell spokesman said: “Following a change in the scope of the decommissioning, the decision was made to proceed to the next stage.
“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.”
Some firms reported “ill-feeling” from the contract going overseas when the news broke last month.
However, Will Rowley of industry body Decom North Sea, highlighted that the majority of UK decom work will remain in-country, such as lucrative plugging and abandonment of wells.
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.