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Lerwick chosen for ultra-deep-water port for decommissioning oil rigs

Words: Roger Milne
Dales Voe / Shutterstock

Dales Voe, a bay near Fora Ness and Noness Head at Lerwick, has been chosen as the preferred location for an ultra-deep-water port for handling North Seal oil and gas decommissioning contracts.

The Scottish Government said the Lerwick site was selected as the most cost-effective location for decommissioning work following a nationwide feasibility study conducted by Ernst and Young.

The country’s supply chain could be in line to win more large-scale decommissioning projects now that Dales Voe in Shetland has been identified.

The announcement was made as key figures from oil and gas operators, service companies and other key stakeholders met in Shetland for an event examining the challenges and opportunities ahead as the decommissioning of North Sea rigs gathers pace.

One of the Scottish Government’s key Programme for Government commitments, an ultra-deep-water port in Scotland could open access to new market areas, as a hub for other locations, and provide business models for a collaborative Scottish supply chain.

Energy minister Paul Wheelhouse said: “I believe investment in a deep-water port will unlock the potential for Scotland to secure the largest decommissioning contracts that require the largest heavy lift vessels currently in operation in the North Sea.”

He added: “A deep-water port in Scotland will bring significant benefits not only for a single location, but as a key part of an integrated and networked Scotland-wide decommissioning offering, with wider opportunities realised through the supply chain.”

Sandra Laurenson, chief executive of Lerwick Port Authority, said: “We look forward to working with the Scottish Government, including Highlands and Islands Enterprise, industry and others on the next steps necessary for such a significant investment to be realised.”

Image credit | Shutterstock