Siri support structure facing overhaul

Offshore staff

COPENHAGEN, Denmark – DONG Energy says it has settled on a permanent repair solution for the damaged Siri platform in the Danish North Sea.

In August 2009, DONG halted production after a routine inspection revealed cracks in a subsea structure connected to the oil storage tank below the Siri platform.

Production operations resumed in January 2010 following safeguarding measures, but these were only temporary solutions.

DONG says it is critical to get the platform adequately repaired in order to operate responsibly, and to reinstate the integrity of the platform structure in compliance with the Danish Offshore Safety Act.

The chosen concept involves installing cable stays between the platform legs and a new seabed support structure connected to the wellhead caisson. This program should be completed during 2012.

It has awarded the program for the Siri caisson permanent support project to Subsea 7, under a $220-million call-off contract. Subsea 7 will engineer, procure, fabricate, and manage all associated construction and commissioning activities.

Offshore operations are due to start during the second half of 2011 and into 2012 using the Seven Havila and Skandi Acergy vessels.

"There are still significant oil resources in the Siri area and we are pleased to have found a solution for the Siri platform in order to produce the reserves from the Siri field and its related satellite fields in a safe manner many years ahead", said Flemming Horn Nielsen, VP of DONG Energy.

DONG estimates the associated cost of the program in 2011-12 at around $384 million, although this should be partly offset by the impact of rising energy prices.

However, one of DONG’s partners, Noreco, pointed out that the program is not sanctioned by the Siri licensees. Noreco claims to have an alternative technical repair method that could be implemented straightaway, and which it maintained would be the best commercial and economic solution for the license.

A statement from the company said: “Noreco considers DONG Energy's solution to be technically immature and not in accordance with the decision criteria which have been proposed by the operator.

“The license agreement requires unanimity; consequently DONG would have to execute this project at its own cost and risk. Noreco will not participate in, nor finance, such a project. Noreco will initiate the necessary measures to protect its own position, including but not limited to risks, damages, liabilities and potential consequential losses.”

06/15/2011

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