Shell U.K. Ltd. has taken the decision to remove the Goldeneye platform and some of the subsea infrastructure.
Goldeneye is located in the Central North Sea, in the United Kingdom Continental Shelf, approximately 100 km north east of the Aberdeenshire coast, Scotland, and was operational as a gas producing field from 2004. It is a wellhead platform, with a 1,400 tonnes topside, 5 platform wells in 120m water, with a direct tie-back to the St Fergus onshore facility. Cessation of Production was granted in March 2011. The topside processing facilities have been depressurised, the pipeline has been flushed and filled with inhibited water, and the wells have been plugged and made safe.
The now non-producing Normally Unattended Installation (NUI) and associated infrastructure have been preserved and maintained as a NUI. This is managed under a revised Safety Case which ensures all critical safety systems are maintained, and the integrity of the platform preserved.
The Goldeneye Decommissioning Programmes were submitted to the Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), and issued for public consultation in November 2018. At that time, the combined Decommissioning Programmes (DP) for the associated installations and pipelines included the full length of each pipeline from the Goldeneye Platform to landfall adjacent to the St Fergus Gas Terminal.
Following public consultation, Shell U.K. has been in discussions with the Offshore Petroleum Regulator for Environment and Decommissioning (OPRED) and Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage (CCUS) stakeholders regarding the potential future re-use of both pipelines. The development of UK policy on the re-use of oil and gas infrastructure for CCUS, including identification of infrastructure with recognised potential for re-use, is ongoing. It will be appropriate for the decision on decommissioning of the pipelines to be taken in line with the policy, when that policy has been finalised.
With the agreement of OPRED and the CCUS stakeholders, and to allow timely contracting for the removal of the Goldeneye topsides and jacket, Shell U.K. has therefore separated the previously submitted Decommissioning Programmes into two documents:
- The Decommissioning Programme for the Goldeneye topsides, jacket, wells and subsea infrastructure up to but excluding the main pipeline tie-in flanges;
- A second document describing the decommissioning solutions for each pipeline from and including the tie-in flanges adjacent to the Goldeneye Platform to landfall adjacent to the St Fergus Gas Terminal, which will be submitted for approval at a later date.
OPRED has approved the DP for the Goldeneye topside, jacket, wells and subsea infrastructure up to but excluding the main pipeline tie-in flanges, and the document is available for download below:
The approved Goldeneye Decommissioning Programmes were publicly issued 1st November 2019. These programmes contained references to the Goldeneye umbilical as PLU4803. The Oil and Gas Authority informed Shell UK Limited on 12th November 2019 that this number has been issued in error. The OGA has subsequently corrected the PLU number and the Goldeneye umbilical should correctly be referred to as PLU4858.
The Decommissioning Programmes on both the OPRED and Shell websites have been amended to include the corrected PLU number. For clarity, there have been five amendments from PLU4803 to PLU4858 on pages 11, 12, 21, 30 and 31.
The Goldeneye DP is also available on the OPRED website.
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When oil and gas fields end production, their facilities need to be dismantled and disposed of - or "decommissioned". Learn about decommissioning at Shell.