Study Targets Improved Subsea Mattress Salvage

Underwater mattress research announced at decommissioning event

The independent multidisciplinary underwater technology and training company Jee Ltd. has entered into a contract with Decom North Sea (DNS), the agency for the decommissioning industry, to identify methods of recovering and reusing concrete underwater mattresses.

The goal of the project, which started in February 2015 and where Jee worked with DNS and Zero Waste Scotland (ZWS), was to identify new solutions for underwater mattress removal that would work without the diver’s intervention during the lifting process, which would lead to improved safety and security, reduced costs.

Nigel Jenkins, DNS Managing Director, explains the background to the contract: “This project was implemented in direct response to inquiries from our operating members and the results from Jee were eagerly awaited. Removing mattresses can add significant costs to decommissioning projects. Therefore, we would like to develop a variety of solutions to further increase efficiency. ”

Adam Smith, Subsea Engineer at Jee, presented the results at a joint event hosted by DNS and ZWS on Thursday May 28th at the Aberdeen Exhibition & Conference Center. Around 100 oil and gas professionals gathered to discuss key findings from the report on how they will improve industry best practice and the circular economy.

Commenting on the project, Smith said, “The significant cost of removing and disposing of aged underwater mattresses is a problem that affects the industry worldwide. Identifying innovative new ways to support the decommissioning sector is high on the industry agenda and DNS’s highly-attended event is the ideal platform to showcase the results of the project. “

Smith continued, “Jee’s team of seasoned engineers is leading the way in supporting innovative new research to support the sustainability of the industry. Working with two respected industry associations on a major research project underscores Jee’s expertise in the field and long history of producing results.

“Our research played a key role in this project, which will provide a basis for the economic and environmental assessment of mattress conditions and options for future removal and reuse. We also helped identify the criteria needed to determine whether to remove underwater mattresses or leave them in place. The main focus is on the safety of underwater divers and the impact on the environment, ”said Smith.

Jee came up with a number of proposals for reusing the mattress concrete, including tidal lagoon structures, building artificial reefs to encourage new marine life, and laying road foundations, which resulted in less new concrete to be made and, as a result, reduced carbon dioxide emissions.

Commenting on the results, Iain Gulland, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Zero Waste Scotland: “This joint report contains some fascinating insights into how we can extend the life of underwater concrete mattresses. I am sure this will be of great interest to everyone in the oil and gas industry and beyond. The results indicate exciting cross-over potential with other sectors such as offshore renewables. Circular economy practices offer a tremendous economic opportunity for Scotland and we can best do this through cross-sectoral and cross-industry collaboration. “

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