Top News

End in sight for Sable gas project

The Noble Regina Allen jack-up drilling rig arrived in Halifax harbour on Tuesday aboard the semi-submersible heavy lift ship Forte.
The Noble Regina Allen jack-up drilling rig arrived in Halifax harbour on Tuesday aboard the semi-submersible heavy lift ship Forte.

It’s the beginning of the end for the Sable project.

The jack-up drilling rig, Noble Regina Allen, was quietly carried into Halifax harbour on Tuesday on the back of the heavy-load vessel Forte.

The rig will soon be taken out to the Sable offshore project to start the decommissioning work on the natural gas project.

The Sable project is now considered mature and the decommissioning will begin shortly.

The Sable development plan approved in 1997, prior to the start of construction, included a blueprint for the decommissioning process.

Sable covers 200 square kilometres near Sable Island, southeast of Halifax.

Gas production began on Dec. 31, 1999, with production of natural gas and natural gas liquid since that time.

It is operated by ExxonMobil Canada and the owners are ExxonMobil, Shell Canada Energy, Imperial Oil Ltd., Pengrowth Energy Corp. and Mosbacher Operating Ltd.

Sable is comprised of seven offshore platforms in five different fields — Thebaud, North Triumph, Venture, Alma and South Venture — with 22 wells and 340 kilometres of subsea pipelines.

The final major scope of work pertaining to the offshore facilities involves engineering, preparation, removal and disposal of the offshore platforms by Heerema Marine Contractors.

Heerema Marine is expected to remove the offshore platforms by using a heavy-lift vessel capable of lifting the topside and jacket components in a single lift, according to ExxonMobil.

The topsides and jackets will eventually be taken to an undetermined demolition yard. The target year for removal of the platforms is 2020.

The pipelines will be flushed to remove hydrocarbons and filled with water prior to being abandoned. Leaving the pipelines in place is considered to cause less environmental impact and disruption to established sea life. Any portion of the pipelines which present a hazard to fisheries or others who use the sea will either be mitigated or removed.

 

Recent Stories