Stakeholder Engagement

Fairfield’s intention from the outset has been to pro-actively engage with stakeholders to explore the challenges, positive lessons and potentially feasible options for decommissioning the Dunlin Alpha platform. The main objectives of the engagement have been to ensure that views could be incorporated to inform each stage of the decommissioning pre-planning process.

Dunlin Alpha Decommissioning Programme

Fairfield is currently finalising plans for decommissioning the concrete gravity base substructure of the Dunlin Alpha platform which was formerly used for production of oil and gas from the Greater Dunlin Area.

The Draft Decommissioning Programme issued in 2018 originally covered both the topsides and the substructure and was accompanied by two key supporting documents: the Comparative Assessment Report, and the Environmental Appraisal. However, since that time the topsides and substructure programmes have been separated. The approved Final Decommissioning Programme and Environmental Appraisal documents for the topsides which both take this separation into account can be viewed here:

Dunlin Alpha Substructure

The Dunlin Alpha substructure programme, meanwhile, will be finalised after consultation with the OSPAR Contracting Parties on the derogation application to leave the CGBS in place. This will take account of the continuing engagement and additional work undertaken since the statutory and public consultation in 2018.

The Environmental Appraisal and Comparative Assessment for the substructure are already available and take account of refinements made following stakeholder and regulatory comments from the 2018 consultation, as well as reflecting the additional, extensive investigative work into the storage cells which has been undertaken during this period. These reports can be accessed at the links below:

Further documentation associated with the original Environmental Appraisal and Comparative Assessment Report can be accessed at the Dunlin Alpha Documentation page.

Any further comments, queries and requests for further information should be sent by email to: stakeholder.mailbox@fairfield-energy.com

OSPAR and the International Rules on Decommissioning

Under the terms of the OSPAR Convention (Decision 98/3), the proposals for the substructure require consideration by the international community since a formal derogation is being sought for decommissioning the substructure in situ. Decision 98/3 on the Disposal of Disused Offshore Installations allows for exceptions to be made from the normal requirement for disused offshore installations to be fully removed, such as in the case of concrete installations like Dunlin Alpha, where there are significant reasons why an alternative disposal method is preferable rather than re-use, recycling or final disposal on land.

The derogation application will be made through the Offshore Petroleum Regulator for Environment and Decommissioning (OPRED) on behalf of the UK Government which is a signatory to the OSPAR Convention.

What Happens Next?

Following the OSPAR review of the derogation application, OPRED will liaise further with Fairfield Energy to respond on any areas requiring further detail. When the regulator is satisfied with the plans for the substructure, the Secretary of State for Energy will call for the Final Decommissioning Programme. Once approved, this will be made available online and stakeholders will be notified.