Safe and efficient recycling project with nothing going to waste

The application of proven practices and techniques helped to achieve a 100% recycling rate and meet on-site environmental obligations.

The Challenge

At its base in Peterhead, BP (British Petroleum) was experiencing issues with its reel and umbilical, which had reached the end of operational lives and was unsafe to lift for transportation and required dismantling.

Umbilicals link surface and seafloor oil and gas equipment for controls, power or heat. They provide electric and fibre-optic signals, electrical power and hydraulic and chemical injection fluids to the subsea unit. John Lawrie was tasked with maximising the recycling potential of a metal reel and spooled umbilical product with a total weight of approximately 100Te.

The Response

John Lawrie obtained a temporary licence from the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency to conduct the decommissioning project. Its focus was on the environmental benefits of the process while eliminating the risks associated with the operation.

A spill kit was initially placed around the reel: a contingency measure to contain any fluids lost while flushing and purging the umbilical. Drains close to the operation were isolated and sealed as a further precaution. The umbilical was successfully flushed, with the liquids collected for safe disposal, and then spooled from the reel. A cold-cutting shear was deployed to cut the product into transportable lengths.

The large diameter reel was reduced in size using a cleaver shear attached to a material handler.

The Result

In line with its wider mission for all metal recycling, John Lawrie achieved its 100% recycling target.

The umbilical lengths were containerised and transported by road to John Lawrie’s licensed waste treatment facility in Aberdeen. The plastic and metallic materials were separated and recycled.

The cut sections of the reel were then transported to Aberdeen for further processing to ESSS standards. They were subsequently exported directly to European steel mills to be recycled into new steel products.

The environmental savings realised by John Lawrie on such projects are passed on to clients to enable them to meet their own net zero or sustainability targets.

John Lawrie’s mission for metal recycling is ‘zero to landfill’, and it reuses or re-purposes wherever possible. If that’s not possible, the firm ensures materials are recycled; that includes working with third-party suppliers to recycle plastics, wood or any other materials that come through its operations.

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