Reach Subsea’s Olympic Challenger vessel will arrive in Aberdeen next month ahead of a multi-operator well decommissioning campaign thought to be one of the largest in a decade.
Mermaid Subsea Services UK and Exceed announced the award of the landmark contract in June which will see the two firms carry out a vessel-based well plugging and abandonment (P&A) campaign on behalf of four undisclosed North Sea operators.
The campaign will be carried out from the Olympic Challenger DP2 construction vessel, set to arrive in Aberdeen for mobilisation in a few weeks’ time, Mermaid announced Tuesday.
The scope of work will comprise P&A activities at ten exploration and appraisal (E&A) wells across northern, central and southern North Sea – thought to be one of the largest campaigns of its type to be undertaken on the UKCS for at least a decade.
The 105.9m vessel is equipped with a 250-tonne active heave compensated crane on deck and two Oceaneering work-class ROVs in an enclosed hangar. It features a 1,000 square metre deck and a 7.2 square metre moonpool, and has accommodation on board for up to 100 people.
The contract award marked the entry of the Mermaid – a subsidiary of Thai group Mermaid Maritime – into the North Sea market and has positioned the UK business for further growth this year.
This has already necessitated a move to larger offices in Westhill, Aberdeenshire, while its team is expected to grow to up to 50 people by the end of 2022.
The two companies said their partnership was founded on providing an integrated approach to multi-operator P&A, which they say “typifies the future of cost-effective, environmentally sustainable decommissioning best practice.”
Speaking in June, Mermaid operations director, Scott Cormack explained: “New contracting models are critical to achieving the decommissioning cost reduction target set by the North Sea Transition Authority (NSTA). However, the NSTA reported in 2021 that these models were yet to become the norm, and that a lack of collaboration was, in part, responsible.
“Our aim is to help address that situation, not only through our own collaboration with well management leaders Exceed, but also by encouraging operators to consider the benefits of a lump sum, campaign approach to decommissioning. That this has been the precise outcome of our first campaign is testament to the clear appetite for this approach amongst the operator community.”
Exceed commercial director John Anderson added: “Our well decommissioning experts have worked on some of the sector’s highest profile abandonment campaigns, and it’s clear to us that this partnership brings something unique to the sector; a turnkey well P&A service, which provides not only the technical downhole capabilities but also complete control over vessel schedules.”
Mermaid said other interested operators should contact the group regarding availability within the Challenger’s schedule during Q4 and into 2023.