AGR commences offshore Ireland decommissioning operations

Source: press release, 16 November 2020

AGR Kinsale project team staff on the Hydraulic Workover Unit on Kinsale Alpha, offshore Ireland
AGR Kinsale project team staff on the Hydraulic Workover Unit on Kinsale Alpha, offshore Ireland (photo: AGR)

AGR has announced that the energy services company has begun the decommissioning operations of Ireland’s first indigenous gas wells on behalf of PSE Kinsale Energy.

PSE Kinsale Energy Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of PETRONAS, is decommissioning its gas fields in the Kinsale Area in the Celtic Sea, approximately 50 kilometres off the south coast of Cork, Ireland. AGR’s Aberdeen-based team is overseeing the planning and decommissioning of 14 platform wells and 10 subsea wells during the two-phase well decommissioning campaign. The gas fields first came into production in 1978 and production ceased in July this year.

Andrew Stannard, Chief Operating Officer at AGR (picture attached), says, “Following the planning stages we have now commenced offshore operations on the Kinsale Alpha platform and are preparing to commence operations on the nearby Kinsale Bravo platform in the coming months.”

“Despite the challenges of COVID-19 the mobilisation of equipment and personnel to the Kinsale Alpha was completed without issue and the project is progressing well and to schedule. Everyone involved in the project has done a tremendous job in making this happen safely and efficiently. The Phase 1 of the operations on the Alpha platform have been completed. We are now preparing for Phase 2 and have commenced mobilisation of the Hydraulic Workover Unit (HWU) and associated equipment and services, which will be used to permanently plug the wells,” he continues.

“We are delighted to be partnering with PSE Kinsale Energy on this project and will draw on our extensive experience of managing more than 540 well campaigns to ensure the project is successfully and safely completed,” Stannard says.

AGR was awarded the contract for well decommissioning services for the Kinsale Area in 2018. The Scope of Work includes for planning, engineering, regulatory approvals, supply chain, logistics and management and supervision of offshore operations.

Fergal Murphy, Chief Executive Officer at PSE Kinsale Energy, adds, “The Kinsale area gas fields have reached the end of their productive life which marks a very significant milestone in the history of gas exploration and production in Ireland. As we move into the final chapter of the fields’ life, we have a responsibility to ensure the wells and infrastructure are decommissioned to the highest safety and environmental standards. We are pleased with the progress to date and the quality and professionalism of work undertaken by AGR and the associated subcontractors under their management.”

The platform well decommissioning campaign is expected to be complete by mid- 2021. The Stena Spey semi-submersible is expected to be mobilised to the Celtic Sea in April 2021 for the subsea well decommissioning scope. AGR is responsible for managing the abandonment design, supply chain, regulatory compliance, planning and execution of the well decommissioning element of the overall programme.