90 jobs heading Hartlepool as Able UK wins contract to dismantle gas platforms

The crane vessel Heerema Thialf which will remove the platforms in preparation for the move to Able Seaton Port.
The crane vessel Heerema Thialf which will remove the platforms in preparation for the move to Able Seaton Port.

New jobs look to be on the way after a Hartlepool firm Able UK wins a major new contract.

Able UK says the contract will create around 90 jobs at its Able Seaton Port facility in Hartlepool.

The project will involve the dismantling, recycling and disposal of offshore natural gas platforms from the ExxonMobil Canada - operated Sable Offshore Energy Project off the coast of Nova Scotia, Canada.

The first shipment of structures is scheduled to arrive at Able Seaton Port in 2020.

Neil Etherington, group development director at Able UK, said: "The first shipment arrives in the second quarter of 2020 and the work will be expected to take 10 months and employ 90 people.

"This will have to be in addition to our current team.

"The additional number of new jobs we hope we will be able to retain that team moving forward into 2020 and beyond."

He said 48,000 tones in total is coming to the Seaton Port on six shipments - equivalent of 4,000 double decker buses.

Able UK executive chairman Peter Stephenson said: “This contract reflects our reputation and the expertise we have built up over many years as leaders in the rapidly developing offshore decommissioning sector.

“The project will involve the removal of seven platforms and their jackets using one of the biggest crane vessels in the world, the Heerema Thialf, with the components being transported to Able Seaton Port in a series of barge movements.

“We expect that the onshore dismantlement, recycling and disposal work will extend over a 10-month period”

The appointment of Able UK was made by Heerema Marine Contractors (Heerema) who were themselves contracted by ExxonMobil to undertake the removal of facilities.

Currently work is well underway at Able Seaton Port on the 24,200-tonne Shell Brent Delta topside which arrived at Able Seaton Port last May following the construction of the new multi-million-pound ASP Quay Six, one of the strongest in Europe.

Two more platforms from the Brent field are scheduled to arrive at Able Seaton Port, with the Brent Bravo expected in May 2019 and the Brent Alpha a year later.

Able UK’s record of undertaking complex offshore decommissioning projects stretches back over 30 years with the company handling work for most major operators in the oil and gas sectors as well as the US and French Governments.