feature Chevron’s successful reuse of wellhead platforms topside, making a historic milestone in the Gulf of Thailand

WHP Topside reuse

Over 40 years ago, Chevron played a vital role as the first commercial natural gas producer in the Gulf of Thailand. In recent years, Thailand has ushered in an era that set in motion the decommissioning of petroleum platforms. Chevron stands at the forefront in technology and innovation, leveraging world-class technologies, expertise, and extensive experience in operating in the Gulf of Thailand to support decommissioning activities in a safe and environmentally friendly manner.  Therefore, Chevron has initiated the “Topsides Reuse” project, a first-of-its-kind endeavor in the Gulf of Thailand aimed at reusing wellhead platform topsides.

Decommissioning of offshore facilities and installations is a process integral to the lifecycle of petroleum operations. It occurs when they reach the end of their production life or are no longer in use. Globally and locally, the common practice of decommissioning these facilities involves removal and onshore demolition, in accordance with environmental regulations.

Chevron Thailand Exploration and Production, Ltd. embarked on this initiative in 2017, recognizing the imperative to maximize resource utilization and minimize carbon emissions stemming from its operations. The project involved meticulous design thinking and engineering process planning, and encompassed cutting-edge methodologies that are safe and environmentally friendly, all of which have been approved by relevant government agencies.

Dr. Pannawat Nilkitsaranont, Vice President, Facilities Designs and Solutions at Chevron Thailand Exploration and Production, Ltd., said, “The wellhead platform structures are made from carbon steel specifically designed for marine use. Thus, these structures can be reused at operational site due to their durability and stability. As a result, this topside reuse technique not only reduces the costs associated with new platform construction but also significantly lowers greenhouse gas emissions. The successful reuse of four platform topsides in 2023 resulted in the avoidance of 2,500 tons of steel waste. Additionally, this achievement translates to a reduction of 3,000 tons of CO2 emissions—equivalent to the carbon sequestered by 49,605 trees grown over a decade. It is a method of using available resources to achieve the maximum value, safety, and environmental friendliness.

The project received the Society of Petroleum Engineers Thailand Exploration and Production Awards in 2019 (SPE Thailand E&P Awards 2019), granted by the Society of Petroleum Engineers. The award is yet another testament to Chevron’s technological leadership and unwavering commitment to innovation, ensuring maximum efficiency in all kinds of operations, including decommissioning. Additionally, the topside reuse technique aligns with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production) and contributes to Thailand’s transition towards clean energy and net-zero emission by 2065.” 

Chevron is committed to meeting its obligations under the concession agreements for the responsible decommissioning of certain offshore assets in the Gulf of Thailand. We ensure that these decommissioning activities adhere to the highest environmental and safety standards, in compliance with Thailand’s regulatory requirements. Our commitment also extends to supporting Thailand’s energy security.