Heerema Wins Contract to Remove BP's North West Hutton Installation

On behalf of the field owners, BP has awarded a contract to Heerema Marine Contractors for the offshore removal and onshore recycling and disposal of the North West Hutton installation, located some 130km north east of the Shetland Islands.

Heerema will be the prime contractor for this work which will also involve a range of specialist subsea, engineering, and waste handling companies. The North West Hutton topsides and jacket will be removed by heavy lift vessel and taken to the Able yard on Teesside for recycling and disposal. BP estimates that around 97% of the material recovered will be recycled.

The award to Heerema was made following the technical and commercial evaluation by BP and the North West Hutton co-venturers of bids generated by a 'design competition' completed earlier this year. The recycling and onshore disposal element involved an extensive pre-qualification audit of UK and Norwegian yards based on level of interest, technical capability and HSE performance.

The contract awarded today represents the largest remaining element of the total North West Hutton decommissioning project. Work already completed includes the well abandonment and topsides clean up phases carried out after the field ceased production at the end of 2002. This will leave pipeline decommissioning, debris clearance and site inspection as the final elements to be completed after removal of the installation. BP estimates that the UK content of the whole project will be around 80% - representing the amount of work carried out by companies based in the UK, many in Aberdeen.

Commenting on the award, Dave Blackwood, Head of BP's North Sea business said - "This award marks the beginning of the final chapter in the North West Hutton decommissioning project. The people in BP and in our contractor partners who have been working on this project since decommissioning activity started can be proud of their excellent safety performance record to date. Ensuring that we complete the offshore removal and onshore disposal safely and in an environmentally responsible manner will continue to be priorities."

Steve Preston, Executive Vice President Commercial of Heerema Marine Contractors, commented - "This award from BP further strengthens the excellent relationship between our companies. For Heerema and our key suppliers, it is a further step in demonstrating our ability to deliver the complete service required for such a decommissioning project."

Detailed engineering for removal will begin immediately. Offshore removal is expected to start in 2008 and to be completed by the end of 2009.

The North West Hutton field is operated by BP (25.8%) on behalf of CIECO Exploration and Production (UK) Limited (25.8%), Enterprise Oil U.K. Limited (28.4%) and Mobil North Sea Limited (20%)

The field is located in Block 211/27a, some 130km north east of the Shetland Islands. North West Hutton was discovered by Amoco in 1975 and came on stream in 1983. The field officially ceased production in January 2003.

The UK Government approved the North West Hutton decommissioning program in April this year, including the issuing of a permit under OSPAR guidelines to leave the jacket footings in place on the seabed.