French water and waste group, Veolia Environment, has announced today that it has won a contract to decommission the 14,000 tonne YME oil platform in the Norwegian North Sea.
Head of Veolia UK and Northern Ireland’s Water and Waste Business, Estelle Brachlianoff, said: “This new decommissioning operation confirms Veolia's strategic position and its expertise in this ever expanding £1 billion a year market with 2,000 platforms needing to be decommissioned over the next 10 years.This significant contract with YME will be our foothold in the oil and gas sector, which is integral to our future growth.”
The project is considered to be of great significance as it would be the first in an anticipated pipeline of work at the Lutelandet site in Norway. The rig currently stands at 72 metres long and 87 metres high. It will be towed to the Lutelanded site where it will then be dismantled. Veolia aims to recycle 99.7% of metals from the structure.
In the past six years alone, Veolia has decommissioned six oil platforms in the North Sea for clients such as BP, ConocoPhillips, Hess, Royal Dutch Shell and Total. The firm wants to build up its oil rig decommissioning expertise and focus on industrial clients as margins continue to shrink in traditional water operations.
Veolia said that 2,000 platforms worldwide need to be decommissioned over the next ten years. The UK is home to nearly two thirds of Veolia’s expected dismantling projects with others located within the Netherlands, Denmark and Norway.
The decommissioning of a single platform can cost up to 100 million euros as many are polluted with dangerous waste such as radioactive residues from oil drilling.
The platform is expected to arrive at the Lutelandet site in mid-2015.