Subsea decommissioning hub unveiled

Source: press release, 19 April 2021

Craig Smith, Karen Russell and Walter Robertson
Craig Smith, Karen Russell and Walter Robertson (photos: NorSea Decom)

A provider of integrated logistics solutions has cemented its focus on a key emerging market by creating Scotland’s first dedicated subsea decommissioning hub.

NorSea UK has collaborated with Robertson-IES Ltd and CR Smith Services Ltd to unveil NorSea Decom, an entity solely concerned with the safe and compliant management of decommissioned subsea infrastructure and waste logistics.

The move will further utilise NorSea’s expansive Peterhead base where more than GBP 2 million has already been invested.  The company has operated a shore base in the town since 2014 where activity centres on Smith Quay and Merchants Quay, both weather-protected berths which provide laydown and processing areas totalling more than 30,000 m2.

The base has already handled over 5,000 tonnes of decommissioned equipment and waste including, flexible risers, umbilical reels, Xmas trees, manifolds, wellhead protection structures and mid-water arches from tier one global operators with interests in the North Sea.

Overseeing project-based activity at the ISO accredited company will be NorSea UK country manager Karen Russell, Robertson-IES Ltd MD (and former NorSea MD) Walter Robertson and former Scotoil Services Ltd MD, Craig Smith, owner of CR Smith Services Ltd.

Commenting on the move, Karen Russell says, “As the UK oil and gas industry enters its fifth decade, it’s important that we simultaneously embrace traditional and emerging markets to bolster sustainability.  This new venture will use the expertise we have gathered in the past to secure our future with a vertically integrated, fundamentally local, supply chain at the heart of operations.”

Walter Robertson adds, “The business will focus on supporting operators and marine contractors with a unique service which will manage the complete onshore scope of work from receipt of potentially contaminated subsea structures through cleaning and size reduction before being transported to their final repurposing/re-use location.”

“Transporting large structures which have been submerged for decades is a technical exercise demanding focus, commitment, and compliance with specialist waste management legislation. As the decommissioning sector continues to grow in the decades to come, NorSea Decom will be a dedicated specialist and relationship-based contractor which will provide the operator or principal contractor with a single, integrated onshore solution for redundant subsea infrastructure and designated wastes,” continues Robertson.

Craig Smith adds, “Having almost 30 years of experience in the radiological waste sector, we understand the importance customers place on securing compliant and cost-effective solutions. Acting as management contractor for all onshore activities, we will optimise costs, simplify the process, and professionally deliver safe and compliant working practices to ensure we protect our customers reputation.”

NorSea UK also operates from its headquarters in Aberdeen’s Altens Industrial Estate. The privately-owned company provides supply bases and integrated logistics solutions to the energy and other industries.  Across its operations, the company aims to deliver high-tech, innovative and complete supply chain solutions which are tailored to customer needs.

Part of the 55-year-old Scandinavian NorSea Group, NorSea UK has reported steady growth since its creation in 2014, and a recent regionalisation strategy with NorSea Denmark has provided another catalyst for growth by increasing autonomy to use group knowledge and capitalise on market opportunities.