Jacket eased down river

The oil rig jacket departs the Tyne on Wednesday morning.
The oil rig jacket departs the Tyne on Wednesday morning.

THE underwater section of an oil rig platform was safely manoeuvred out of the Tyne early Wednesday morning.

Wallsend-based Offshore Group Newcastle (OGN) successfully saw off the departure of the Apache FASP jacket structure.

It’s the largest to ever be designed and fabricated on the Tyne, and it set sail for the Forties field, some 180km off the coast of Aberdeen in water depths of around 110 metres.

In September 2010, Apache North Sea Ltd awarded the multi-million pound contract to OGN for the oil production platform for its Forties field.

The 126-metre high jacket, which weighs 5,500 tonnes, will form the first section of the new platform which, will be bridge-linked to the existing Forties Alpha installation.

Craig Melville, chief commercial officer at OGN, said: “Today is a proud moment in OGN’s short history.

“All of this could not have been possible without the collaboration and support of our client Apache North Sea Limited, our supply chain partners and workforce.

“We now look forward to delivering FASP Topside in the coming months and thereafter securing more multi-million pound contracts in Tyneside.”

Mark Richardson, Project Director for Apache North Sea Limited, said: “The workforce should feel proud of their achievements and we look forward to the completion of the topsides processing facilities next year.”

“The strong relationship developed between Apache and OGN has enabled; a safe, fast and cost effective fabrication, allowing Apache to further develop the Forties Field and maximise the oil reserve recovery.”