Norwegian offshore safety body, the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA), has given its consent to ConocoPhillips to dispose of four Ekofisk platforms in the North Sea.
The safety authority said on Monday that the consent relates to the disposal of the Ekofisk 2/4 H, Ekofisk 2/4 A, Ekofisk 2/4 FTP, and Ekofisk 2/4 Q platforms.
According to theagency, this follows an application from the company for consent to remove these four structures.
“ConocoPhillips Skandinavia AS must ensure that all work on the facilities in connection with removal activities on Eko2/4 A, 2/4 H, 2/4 Q, and 2/4 FTP is planned and will be carried out in accordance with the Norwegian Petroleum and Working Environment Acts with subordinate HSE regulations, including the requirements on working time, see section 7 of the framework regulations on responsibilities pursuant to these regulations,” the PSA said.
The platform removal is part of ConocoPhillips’ Ekofisk I Cessation plan, which started in 2017 and is scheduled to be completed in 2022. ConocoPhillips already has consent from the PSA to prepare and begin the removal of minor structures from the Ekofisk field.
In August, the oil company applied for consent to dispose of the Ekofisk 2/4 H, Ekofisk 2/4 A, Ekofisk 2/4 FTP, and Ekofisk 2/4 Q platforms and received a consent which covered the initiation of preparatory work offshore and the start of the removal of minor structures and installation of a crane on the FTP.
A few days later, Bergen Group AAK was awarded a framework contract by AF Offshore Decom for delivery of subcontractor services connected to decommissioning and disassembly of topside structures on the ConocoPhillips-operated Ekofisk oil field in the North Sea.
Also worth noting were irregularities found during an audit of ConocoPhillips’ permanent plugging and abandonment of wells at Ekofisk 2/4 A platform. According to the safety regulator, 18 out of 23 permanently plugged wells at 2/4 A lacked documentation in compliance with the regulatory requirements for permanent well barriers.
On December 23, 1969, Phillips Petroleum – now ConocoPhillips – informed the Norwegian government that it had discovered Ekofisk – one of the largest offshore oil fields ever found.
The field, located some 200 kilometers south of Stavanger, started production in 1971 via the Gulftide platform, and is in production even today, more than four decades after the original discovery.
The Greater Ekofisk Area today comprises four poducing fields: Ekofisk, Eldfisk, Embla, and Tor. Crude oil is exported to Teeside, England, and the natural gas is exported to Emden, Germany.