The Auk field is located approximately 249km East-South-East of Aberdeen in Block 30/16 in the UK sector of the North Sea in a water depth of 85m. Auk was discovered in September 1970 with the platform installed in July 1974 and starting production in December 1975. The Auk ‘A’ (Alpha) platform is an integrated drilling, production and living quarters facility supported on an eight leg jacket structure. The drilling derrick has since been removed.
The field is named after the Auk, a family of sea birds. It was operated by Shell UK in 50% partnership with ESSO until October 2006 when it was bought by Talisman Energy, and is now licensed by Repsol Sinopec Resources UK Ltd.
The Auk ‘A’ platform comprises topsides weighing an estimate 5,835 tonnes (dry weight) supported by an 8-leg steel jacket weighing an estimated 5,567 tonnes. Production is exported to the Fulmar platform where it is combined with Fulmar, Clyde/Orion and Gannet oil before being exported to the Norpipe system for onward processing at Teeside.
Initially production in 1975 was to an ELSBM (Exposed Location Single Buoy Mooring). The ELSBM was located 2,000m from the Auk platform and moored to the seabed by 8 anchors, each weighing 15 tons, which were set around the buoy in a circle with a 460 m radius. Two shuttle tankers Zafra and Zaria supported the bulk storage and transfer for the field’s production.
A new export pipeline to Fulmar was installed and commissioned in 1986 at which point the ELSBM was decommissioned.
Production continues to be exported to the Fulmar platform where it is combined with Fulmar, Clyde/Orion and Gannet oil before being exported to the Norpipe system for onward processing at Teeside.
About the facilities
- The Auk eight-legged jacket weighs approximately 5,567 Te; and topside weight of 5,557 Te
- The Auk platform has facilities for production, accommodation and associated utilities;
- Oil processed at Auk is exported via an 8" 12 km trench and buried pipeline to the Fulmar platform, where it then joins the main Norpipe pipeline system terminating at Teeside.
- Redundant 12.6 km buried power cable from Auk to Fulmar
- Redundant 10" Oil Pipeline from Auk Alpha to Single Buoy Mooring (SBM)
- Plugging and abandoning of all the platform's 11 remaining wells. One well has already been plugged and abandoned.
Facilities to be decommissioned
Removal, onshore dismantling, recycling and disposal of topsides and substructures.
Multiple options are being considered for the decommissioning of the Auk field infrastructure, all of which will undergo a screening process to identify those that are feasible.
The feasible options for the decommissioning of the Auk pipelines will be subject to a Comparative Assessment process to determine the best options with regards to their safety, environmental, societal, technical and economic performance.