Oil and gas company Canadian Natural Resources (CNR) has submitted a draft of a decommissioning plan for its Ninian North platform (NNP) in the North Sea to the UK’s Oil and Gas Authority (OGA).

The company plans to start the abandonment of the Ninian North platform this year.

A cessation of production application for the NNP was submitted in August 2016 and accepted by the OGA in November 2016. In accordance with this approval, permanent cessation will take place following a period of one month’s notice given to the OGA.

The company revealed plans to decommission the platform in its global reserves statement in February 2017.

As part of the report, CNR said that, at the end of 2016, its proven North Sea resources decreased 15 percent to 141 MMboe while the North Sea proved plus probable reserves decreased 11 percent to 267 MMboe.

The platform itself is located in the UK sector of the North Sea, approximately 100 miles northeast of the Shetland Islands and is approximately 240 miles north-northeast of Aberdeen in UKCS Block 3/03. The Ninian field development program originally comprised a two-platform strategy, Ninian South and Central, but the NNP was installed in June 1978 to ensure optimum exploitation of the northern part of the field.

Production from NNP began in August 1980 reaching its peak in June 1981 with a rate of 89,587 bopd. Oil from the entire Ninian field is processed onboard the Ninian South and Ninian Central platforms and exported to the Sullom Voe Terminal on the Shetland Islands via the Ninian Pipeline System.

In its financial report published on Thursday, the company said that the activities regarding the abandonment of the NNP would begin later this year.

On Friday, the company submitted a 61-page draft of a decommissioning plan for public consultation along with an Environmental Statement and a Comparative Assessment.

According to the decom plan, CNR will plug and abandon platform wells as well as fully remove the topsides and returned them to shore, and partially remove the jacket.

That means that the risers and umbilicals attached to the jacket structure will be separated at the derogation height and that the jacket legs will remain in place at a height between 52.5 and 63.5 meters from the seabed. Once the jacket has been removed to the derogation height, a post-decommissioning site survey will be carried out with a 500m radius of the installation.

The timeframe for decommissioning of the platform will see the topsides removed following permanent down-manning of the platform between 2019 and 2020. The jacket can remain in place until 2032 at which time it must be removed as part of the wider Ninian field decommissioning plan.

The submitted plan, environmental, and comparative statements are currently awaiting approval by the UK’s Oil and Gas Authority.

Offshore Energy Today Staff

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