Environmentalists Gift To The Oil Industry
I just read an article published yesterday in the Petroleum Economist entitled "Wind
Farms Threaten To Speed Up North Sea Decommissioning". The article summarizes a
paper that was presented by a Dutch/German/Danish Consortium detailing the concept of a
North Sea Wind Power Hub to provide clean energy for Europe to meet the goals of the
Paris Accord. In the article they say 55 meters is the water depth limit for cost
effective wind turbine foundations, limiting the North Sea real estate available for
their project, and stating that shipping, military exercises, and fisheries are other
constraints that are sacred. What is not sacred are all the damned oil platforms out
there with their 2.5NM helicopter safe landing zones. So lets clean them out to make
room for wind turbines.
This doesn't impact our Greater Ekofisk Area which is in 230 feet of water, but it does
bring back memories from 30 years ago when we dealt with the subsidence of Ekofisk by
jacking up the steel platforms and installing the concrete protective barrier around
the 1,000,000 barrel concrete storage tank that was sitting on the seabed and providing
real estate for gobs and gobs of production equipment.
Having completed that task the Leg Extension Project turned into the License Extension
Project. Our Production License was set to expire August 31, 2011 and it was time to
open negotiations with the Norwegian authorities to extend our License. One of the
huge factors concerning the economics of the license period was who would bear the
cost of decommisioning the platforms and the BIG ASSED TANK. So we had some brain-
storming meetings to discuss de-commissioning concepts. The meeting room was filled
with doom and gloom as we discussed cutting off the platform legs way below the water
line and hauling all the stuff to Haugesund for salvage or clearing the decks and
toppling the platforms. Wasn't nothing going to be cheap. And then there was the
I suggested we leave the platforms and Tank out there and stick windmills on top.
There was a ROAR of Laughter!