Ekofisk I Cessation Plan Approved

Norwegian authorities have approved the Ekofisk I Cessation Plan. The decision was made by the Council of State in late December. The Government endorses the Phillips Norway Group's recommendation for the removal and disposal of the steel structures onshore. The deadline for this work is set at 2013.

By that time the Norpipe 36/22 A, 37/4 A platforms, the steel topsides of the Ekofisk Tank, Ekofisk 2/4 R, Ekofisk 2/4 P, Cod 7/11 A, Edda 2/7 C, Albuskjell 1/6 A, Albuskjell 2/4 F and West Ekofisk 2/4 D shall be brought ashore. Furthermore the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy assumes that also the accommodation platforms Ekofisk 2/4 H and Ekofisk 2/4 Q will be brought ashore for material recovery by 2013. The final decision regarding the disposal of these platforms, as well as the Ekofisk 2/4 A, 2/4 B and 2/4 FTP installations, will not be made by the Ministry until a final clarification of the period of use exists.

The Government also endorses the Phillips Norway Group's recommendation for in-place disposal of cuttings related to Ekofisk I. According to the Royal Decree no other disposal solutions documented solutions so far are more suitable than in-place disposal. Phillips has implemented a monitoring program for a representative pile of cuttings at Ekofisk 2/4 – and the surrounding area – to get more data for cuttings pile research. This work will be conducted in close consultation with Norwegian authorities in order to ensure that the cuttings are handled in an appropriate way.

It was emphasized that the Phillips Norway Groups' plans to employ new technology may reduce the costs related to the removal plan considerably. By setting clear and reasonable deadlines for the completion of the disposal, the authorities aim to increase the probability of the development of new technology, as the industry will then know the scope of and timescale for the removal assignments. The time schedule for the implementation of the Ekofisk I disposal also allows for full operation of the field and a high activity in the coming years related to production in the area, as well as the implementation of actions to increase the efficiency of the operations.

The OSPAR countries have endorsed in-place disposal of the concrete structure in a cleaned condition. This issue will be discussed by the Government in a separate parliamentary bill expected to be presented during the spring session of 2002.

The contract process for the removal of the steel topsides of the Ekofisk Tank and the removal of the two booster platforms Norpipe 36/22 A and 37/4 A started this fall. Due to a somewhat delayed approval from the authorities compared with the original plan, the award of the contract for the technical preparations for this work will be moved from April to June 2002.

According to the provisions of the Removal Subsidy Act the Norwegian State's share of the Ekofisk I removal costs is about two-thirds of the total costs.