Gallery: ‘End Of An Era’ As Foinaven FPSO Arrives At Hunterston


© Supplied by Alan Newbyfoinaven hunterston

All images courtesy of Alan Newby

The former production ship for a BP (LON:BP)  oilfield in the West of Shetland has arrived at Hunterston for partial decommissioning.

On Monday the Foinaven FPSO was brought to port on Scotland’s West Coast from the namesake BP field.

Alan Newby, production supervisor at Altera Infrastructure, shared images of the vessel arriving, declaring an “end of an era”.

The Foinaven FPSO will have signage removed at Hunterston, but questions linger on its future.

It has been in production at the Foinaven field off Shetland since 1997, but a series of safety issues and the ship reaching the end of its design life led to BP deciding to remove the vessel last year.

© Supplied by Alan Newby

© Supplied by Alan Newby

© Supplied by Alan Newby

© Supplied by Alan Newby


A series of loose threads surround the future of the vessel and its crew, now the Foinaven FPSO has arrived at Hunterston.

Unite the Union organised strikes last week on board amid a series of safety fears and concerns around redundancy packages for workers.

The group accused operator Altera Infrastructure of holding a “wall of silence”, refusing to respond to the worries.

Unite said 60 workers were involved in the strikes, but the ship has still managed to arrive at Hunterston.


BP had been leasing the vessel from Teekay, the former owner of the ship.

However the company has now sold the vessel to an undisclosed buyer and has not stated any future plans for the 25-year-old ship.

Concerns have been raised on whether the vessel could be sent overseas for full decommissioning.

Gary Cook of the GMB Union has voiced concerns that it will likely be “anywhere but Scotland”.

Any vessels which seek to be decommissioned overseas need to make a request to the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) to leave UK waters.

Foinaven field

Back at the Foinaven oilfield, it was reported in March that BP was seeking to sell it off.

Foinaven still holds an estimated 200 million barrels of oil, and news agency Reuters said that the energy firm was hoping that renewed focus on domestic production in the UK would attract buyers.

Although oil majors have been retreating from the North Sea, west of Shetland remains a prolific area for BP, which has the giant Clair field in the area.

London-listed BP has not commented on the Reuters report.

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