Scotland business

North Sea facility to be decommissioned in Shetland

Buchan Alpha FPV Image copyright Repsol Sinopec Resources UK
Image caption Buchan Alpha lies about 120 miles (190 km) north-east of Aberdeen

A North Sea oil installation is to be decommissioned after 36 years of production.

The Buchan Alpha floating production vessel will be dismantled and recycled by French-owned group Veolia at its Dales Voe site in Lerwick, Shetland.

The contract was awarded by Buchan oil field owner and operator Repsol Sinopec Resources UK.

The decommissioning work is expected to take about 17 months to complete and lead to the creation of 35 jobs.

Originally a drilling rig, Buchan Alpha lies about 120 miles (190 km) north-east of Aberdeen.

The vessel started production from the Buchan field in 1981 and from the nearby Hannay field in 2002.

It produced nearly 150 million barrels of oil over its lifetime before production ceased on 12 May.

'Huge contribution'

Repsol Sinopec Resources UK managing director Bill Dunnett said: "Buchan Alpha has made a huge contribution to the UK economy throughout its life, producing more than three times the volume of oil that was originally predicted.

"We are pleased the decommissioning phase will create further sustained value for the UK supply chain and additional employment for Shetland, building a new model for full facility decommissioning in the UK."

Estelle Brachlianoff, from Veolia UK and Ireland, said: "We will be targeting a recycling rate of over 98% at the new Dales Voe decommissioning facility in Lerwick where we will work closely with our partners, Peterson and Lerwick Port Authority, to boost the local economy by creating 35 jobs and develop strong relationships with the local community."

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