4. Location of platforms

This section summarises the different global oil and gas areas, in which unmanned platforms have been installed.

Table 4-1: Location of unmanned platforms

Table 4-1: Location of unmanned platforms


Compared to other parts of the world, very few unmanned wellhead platforms are installed on the Norwegian continental shelf. Out of 99 platforms (including 20 floaters), the percentage of unmanned platforms is 5% corresponding to the following 5 unmanned platforms:

  • Tambar (70 m water depth)
  • Embla (75 m water depth)
  • Hod (72 m water depth)
  • Sleipner Vest (110 m water depth)
  • Huldra (125 m water depth)

The main reasons for the current low number of UWHPs on the Norwegian continental shelf is the size of the fields, the distance to infrastructure, the water depth and the regulatory requirements in Norway.

In Denmark, unmanned platforms have been installed since the early 1980ies. The first two being 4-legged type 0 UWHPs, since 1989 eight type 2 UWHPs, and since 2003 four type 1 UWHPs have been installed. They are all situated in the shallow waters of the Danish part of the North Sea in water depths from 37 m to 70 m.

The Dutch continental shelf is situated in the relatively shallow southern part of the North Sea, which means that none of the platforms are located in water depths of more than 40-50 m. Approximately 30% of the 156 Dutch platforms are unmanned.

In the UK sector of the North Sea, operators have made use of unmanned platforms since the mid 1980ies. The majority is located in the southern part, some in the central part and only a few in the northern part of the North Sea.

Around 25% of all platforms in the US Gulf of Mexico are unmanned. The nature of these platforms are very simple structures - often holding only one well per platform.

The Persian Gulf is relatively shallow with a water depth of maximum 80 metres, and oil companies often have a central platform complex and then rings of wellhead towers (unmanned) around these central complexes.

More detailed information about the location of unmanned platforms can be found in the sub-report, ref /6/.