Murchison Platform: The End of an Era
Aberdeen Party Review by Chris Cowley, CNR International
Each year, the Aberdeen Young Professional Committee is tasked with the challenge of providing the entertainment for the Aberdeen Christmas Party. With the 2015 party taking place in the Aberdeen Maritime Museum, it seemed a no brainer to take advantage of the museum’s centrepiece and main attraction…
Aberdeen’s PESGB masses swarmed to the top floor of the Maritime Museum on December 1st to hear about a seldom-discussed topic in our subsurface world: decommissioning. Simply getting to the location of the talk was a wonderful introduction to the subject matter; scaling the staircases which wrap themselves around the vast jacket of the 1:33 scale model of the Murchison platform and looking at the intricacies of the framework. Once attendees reached the top floor they were greeted by the platform itself, standing proud atop its jacket below. It’s an impressive sight, a huge representation of Murchison, surrounded by a viewing gallery allowing everybody to get a good look at the platform leading to a lot of “what does that bit do” and “what’s that thing?” discussions.
Roy Aspden, of CNR International, was the evening’s speaker; Roy’s career began with him working in the engineering team responsible for building Murchison’s jacket in the 1970s. Since then, Roy has worked at other operating companies before moving full-circle and arriving at CNR International to lead the team responsible for taking the platform apart, so what better person to tell the tales of the platform’s life? The audience were treated to tales of nostalgia, platform camaraderie and the sad tale of Eric the Guillemot, the platform’s sea-rescued mascot (for a week or so).
It was really interesting to hear about the logistical challenges of decommissioning such a giant, remote platform, and the trials that the decommissioning team have faced and will continue to face throughout the coming years. It’s not often that a group of geoscientists are treated to an interesting, informal, fun talk about an engineering discipline, and with decommissioning being a portion of the industry which is certainly set to grow it was great to gain a thorough insight into this world.