Saturday, October 21, 2017

Island Market

Europe: A Truly Unique North Sea “Private Island” For Sale

Norwegian oil giant Statoil is offering its soon-to-be decommissioned North Sea rig Huldra for sale, with one suggested use being a unique vacation home.

(Image Courtesy of Statoil)

The sweeping ocean views are stunning; the far-flung location is perfectly secluded, and the modern 20-room accommodations could host enough friends and family for an incredible weekend party. With plenty of space to land a helicopter, it sounds like the perfect private island, albeit with a few small flaws – the Huldra drilling rig, set to be decommissioned in 2014, doesn’t have a scrap of beach, and the surrounding North Sea waters are a little chilly for even the most hardy swimmers. In any case, the new owners will actually have to move it to a new home themselves.

Tongue-in-cheek advertisements recently placed by Norway’s government-controlled Statoil energy company are touting the Huldra rig for sale, suggesting on one Finnish site that “only your imagination limits how it can be used.” The ad, posted on finn.no, gives a persuasive sales pitch; “The platform is built with a timeless and durable steel chassis, top side with living quarters, helideck and production facilities. Owner has maintained platform regularly, and it stands as a modern and sensible solution.” It continues to say that while it currently has spectacular 360-degree views, the buyer will be obliged to move it to a new location.

The rig will go to the highest bidder above a nominal single Norwegian krone, which is an attractive price, considering that the project cost Statoil NOK 6.3 billion, or about USD 1.1 billion. However, Statoil’s attempt to sell the rig is, according to a report in the energy-industry publication Upstream Online, really more of an effort to generate new ideas as to how it could be used when its operational days are numbered.

On Statoil’s webpage, they cite that recycling the rig will save both costs and environmental impact, making it far preferable to simply scrapping the facility. There is still plenty of life left in the 2001-era rig, according to the company, and it is simply that the Huldra Field where it has been employed has been depleted, and they have no further use for it after 2014.

The magazine reports that while use as a vacation property is possible, another recent suggestion was to transform it into an exercise facility for school children. Most likely, however, is purchase by another oil company, as a short-term solution for quickly putting a drilling field into production while another rig is under construction. Statoil’s project leader for the sale, Shahnaz Jafargholi, was quoted as saying that “Reuse would also have significant environmental benefits.”

Interested parties can take a look at the Huldra by boat; Statoil gives the directions as “West out of Bergen, out to sea. Turn left when you come to the Veslefrikk platform and proceed 16 kilometers.” It may not be in a sought-after neighbourhood, but if Statoil is successful in their sale, that won’t be the address for long.

Visit Statoil’s official Huldra advertisement: Statoil Website

Read more about the sale in Upstream Online: Link

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