Decommissioning for an Offshore Pipeline System

Northern North Sea, United Kingdom


The Ninian oil field was brought on-stream in 1978, and is one of the oldest oil fields in the North Sea. It was operated using three fixed platforms: Ninian North, Ninian South, and Ninian Central – a hub which also supports the operation of nearby fields. In 2016 CNR looked to decommission the Ninian North platform, and the pipeline system connecting it to Ninian Central. IRM Systems project managed the operation from the FEED stage, engagement with third-party service providers, to cleaning and decommissioning of the pipeline.


The pipeline was a 24-inch, 7.2-kilometre pipeline, and was connected to the Ninian Central processing platform. The first challenge was that IRM Systems had to choose chemicals that could clean this pipeline, but without affecting the separation system on the live Ninian Central platform. Secondly, the pipeline in question had an extremely low flow rate. IRM Systems provided CNR chemical TAs with options and recommendations, before engineering a successful solution to reduce the bypass on existing pigs, and clean the pipeline.


For IRM Systems, complexity is not a problem. Many become afraid of the complexity of a project, whereas we see these problems as a challenge that we are willing to take – not run away from.

Solving complex issues is our speciality.