Decommissioning topic strategy, Offshore Technology Report

Open Access Report 2001

Health and Safety Executive

This study was established under the HSE Framework Agreement April 1998 to assist the Health and Safety Executive Offshore Division with development of a Topic Strategy on Decommissioning of Offshore Installations. The study began with a review of the technical literature available with the objective of presenting a report to the HSE highlighting the key issues relating to abandonment of offshore installations and identifying knowledge gaps. An extensive review of the regulatory framework has identified the global, regional (i.e. European) and national regulations pertinent to decommissioning. The UK acceptance in 1998 of the OSPAR Convention has moved the technical emphasis from in-situ disposal by toppling or emplacement to the removal for recycling ashore with an attendant increase in risk to human life. Therefore future efforts need to be directed to controlling these risks by safety management methods and improved equipment reliability and procedures for underwater cutting, heavy lifting operations and the development of rapid or weather insensitive technologies for offshore demolition. A review is included of the likely decommissioning schedule for all UK sector North Sea installations together with their classification and the weight and water depth of the largest structures affected by the OSPAR decision. The abandonment process is described as a framework for considering safety management and technical issues related to decommissioning. A previous HSE research summary is reviewed and new issues are identified as a result of recent experience and the changing regulatory requirements. Principal issues are categorised under the headings of Strategy, Safety Management and Technical and are mapped onto Decommissioning Topic Strategy Objectives as a basis for developing a detailed plan to meeting these objectives.

Link To Publication

Keywords: Decommissioning

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