H-7 was installed in the German sector of the North Sea back in 1976 and put on stream in 1977. Being part of the Norpipe system it contributed significantly to exporting Norwegian gas to Germany. In 1999 there was no longer any need for the compressor, which was taken out of operation. The platform, however, was operative and manned by Conoco Phillips on behalf of Gassco until 2007. It was then disconnected from the Norpipe pipeline, shut down, cleaned and abandoned.
This year, however, there are hectic activities on board again. At the end of February the Pacific Orca jack-up vessel arrived at the field, and the removal of the almost 40-year-old installation could start.
Gassco is the operator of the platform, but has assigned Statoil, as the technical service provider (TSP), to remove the platform.
Small parts are transported ashore by supply vessels in containers. (Photo: Vegard Peikli/Statoil)
Statoil has granted the main contract for the assignment to AF Decom Offshore. Swire Blue Ocean, the owner of the vessel used in connection with the removal, is a sub-contractor. DeepOcean is responsible for all underwater operations in connection with the removal of the platform jacket.
The last part of the dismantling, sorting and preparations for recycling will be performed at AF Decom Offshore’s environmental base in Vats in southwestern Norway.
During the removal the vessel will be jacked up to platform deck height. The platform will be dismantled in large and small parts. Pacific Orca will transport the main part of the deck ashore, while the sister vessel Pacific Osprey will transport the jacket. Small deck elements will be transported by supply vessels in containers.
The dismantling will start offshore at the end of February. The first parts are expected to arrive onshore in mid-March, and H-7 will be scrapped during the year.. Thoroughly evaluated
The platform was built in the 1970s, when the regulations for the use of materials, heavy metals and chemicals differed from those today. However, it has been thoroughly evaluated that such hazardeous waste can be safely taken care of, without any harm to people or the environment.
Pacific Orca being jacked up at H7, the removal work has started. (Photo: Vegard Peikli/Statoil)