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New Energy World magazine logo
New Energy World magazine logo
ISSN 2753-7757 (Online)

Responsible recycling: addressing the challenges of decommissioning Dunlin Alpha


8 min read

Close up of flat grid section of offshore structure frame, covered in marine growth, on deck of decommissioning vessel Photo: DeepOcean Group
Decomissioning steel structures on Dunlin Alpha required early-phase feasibility studies and detailed environmental impact assessments

Photo: DeepOcean Group

Energy operators have responsibility for decommissioning aged offshore structures – returning the seabed to its original state to ensure both environmental conservation and regulatory compliance. The subsequent recycling of subsea assets closes the circular economy loop, as demonstrated on the Dunlin Alpha field. Endre Johansen of DeepOcean Group explains how the complex work-scope was de-risked and carried out safely, efficiently and sustainably.

As oil and gas fields deplete and offshore wind farms reach end-of-life, the offshore structures must be dismantled, removed and recycled. DeepOcean is one of many supplier companies that have specialist capabilities and extensive experience in such services.


Prior to any offshore work, early-phase feasibility studies and detailed environmental impact assessments are conducted to ensure that forthcoming offshore operations can be managed safely and without any unnecessary harm to the environment.


In some instances, following the environmental assessment, ‘leave in place’ is the better choice, as infrastructure that has been in place for many years may create new ecosystems which have greater biodiversity than surrounding areas. If the removal of the subsea infrastructure is considered to be beneficial, then restoration of the good environmental status of marine ecosystems in the execution of the project is paramount.


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