Equinor – Veslefrikk – Disposal of Facilities

Source: www.gulfoilandgas.com 6/28/2022, Location: Europe

The Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) has carried out an audit of Equinor and their preparations for and implementation of the disposal of facilities and pipelines. The audit was conducted on 27 April 2022.

The Veslefrikk field is to be disposed of with the removal of Veslefrikk B in 2022 and Veslefrikk A (superstructure) in 2025 and the steel jacket in 2026. Parts of the pipeline systems are to be shut down and cleaned for abandonment after necessary excavation, gravel dumping and covering of pipeline ends and pile ends during the same period. The clean-up of the seabed is scheduled to be carried out no later than 2027.

The disposal of the Veslefrikk field will take place over a long period of time, and it was therefore desirable to obtain an overview of how it is planned to undertake the preparations for and implementation of the disposal. In addition, it is necessary to obtain an overview of risk-reducing measures for safe implementation until Veslefrikk A has been removed.
Veslefrikk is a field located in the northern part of the North Sea, 30 kilometres north of the Oseberg field. The water depth is 185 metres. Veslefrikk was discovered in 1981, and the plan for development and operation (PDO) was approved in 1987. The field is developed with two facilities, Veslefrikk A and Veslefrikk B. Veslefrikk A is a fixed steel wellhead facility with bridge connection to Veslefrikk B. Veslefrikk B is a semi-submersible facility for processing and accommodation. Production started in 1989 and ceased in 2022.

A decommissioning plan was submitted in 2020. According to the formal removal resolution, decommissioning must be completed by the end of 2027.

The objective of the audit was to monitor Equinor's management of preparations for and implementation of the disposal of the Veslefrikk field, as well as information gathering for further follow-up of the project until disposal of the field is complete.

The audit identified no regulatory non-conformities, but we observed three matters that we have chosen to categorize as improvement points. These comprised:
- Employee participation
- Management of chemical health hazards
- Management of psychosocial conditions

What happens now?
We have asked Equinor for their feedback by 7 July 2022.

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