Buchan Alpha arrives in Lerwick for final decommissioning

Buchan Alpha
The Buchan Alpha platform

The Buchan Alpha oil production vessel has arrived safely in Lerwick, Shetland for disposal. 

It is believed to be the first major North Sea floating production facility to be disposed of in Scotland.

A semi-submersible moored floating production vessel, weighing 12,000 tonnes, Buchan Alpha was built in 1973 as a drilling rig and converted for production purposes in Stornoway between 1978-80. 

The vessel commenced production in 1981 from the Buchan field, located in blocks 21/1A and 20/5A, and has subsequently also produced the nearby Hannay field.  Production ceased, as planned, on 12 May 2017 having produced around 148 million barrels of oil. 

 The contract for disposal was internationally tendered and awarded to Veolia working with their strategic partner in decommissioning, Peterson.  The work will be carried out at the Dales Voe site in Lerwick.

Off-station work on Buchan Alpha has been ongoing, with the primary objectives of cleaning, and reducing topsides weight in preparation for tow.  It will initially be moored offshore Lerwick in deeper water where the thrusters will be removed to reduce the draught, allowing it to be moved to the quayside within the next few weeks.  

Veolia will then begin the dismantling of the steel structure to maximise the recycling rate with the aim of achieving 98% recycling rates.

Estelle Brachlianoff, Senior Executive Vice-President, Veolia UK & Ireland said:  “We are expecting a growth in the decommissioning market and the Buchan Alpha contract is a significant example of this type of the potential expansion of this sector in Scotland.

“These offshore assets will now be recycled to give them a second, third or even fourth life creating jobs and investment in the local economy.”  

14 Aug 2017

Pixie Energy

Pixie logo Pixie Energy is an incubator and a facilitator of strategic research and project work, focusing on energy regulation, policy and markets at the local and national level. Find out more about Pixie Energy here.

Local Energy Matters: Scotland

Local Energy Matters: Scotland is a free-to-download brochure with a focus on energy tariffs in the two Scottish electricity distribution regions, as well news on local energy and low-carbon schemes.

Previous editions can be download here.

Scottish energy market overview

You can read an overview of the Scottish energy market here.

Scottish Government energy feed