Veolia group has won a contract to decommission a 14,000-tonne oil platform in the Norwegian North Sea.

The Talisman-operated Yme platform has been sitting unmanned in the North Sea, offshore Norway, since mid-July, 2012, when Talisman decided to evacuate the personnel due to cracks found in the platform's legs. After the evacuation, Talisman sent a letter to the Norwegian authorities claiming there was a threat of the platform collapsing into the sea.

Talisman, the operator of the field, and SBM offshore, the supplier of the troublesome Yme production platform, last year agreed to decommission the platform after multiple delays, and cracks found in the platform's legs.

The platform was first slated for scrapping in the summer this year, but the decommissioning has been postponed for 2015.

"With a recycling goal of 99.7%, this contract, which represents significant revenue, confirms Veolia's expertise as it continues to strengthen its position in the offshore decommissioning and recycling marketplace," Veolia said in a statement.

Veolia explains that "in a unique feat of engineering and the first of its kind", the YME oil platform, spanning some 72m in length and 87m high, will be removed and towed in a single lift from its current North Sea location and subsequently dismantled by Veolia at its decommissioning site at Lutelandet in South West Norway.

The 14,000 tonne offshore structure and equipment will be dismantled and recycled at Lutelandet, once the platform arrives in mid-2015. Veolia intends to recycle 99.7% of the structure and YME contains a range of valuable materials including precious metals, iron, steel and electrical items.

Moreover, Veolia will be entering a long term agreement with its Norwegian partner, Lutelandet Offshore, to develop the deep-water quay and site at Lutelandet. The YME platform will be the first in an anticipated pipeline of work that Veolia will undertake at the site and will enable the company to benefit from the growth in the North Sea decommissioning sector.

Estelle Brachlianoff, Veolia Senior Executive Vice President UK and Ireland said: "This new decommissioning operation confirms Veolia's strategic position and its expertise in this ever expanding £1 billion a year market with 2,000 platforms needing to be decommissioned over the next 10 years. This significant contract with YME will be our foothold in the oil and gas sector which is integral to our future growth."

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