Shell’s Brent Bravo topside arrives at UK port to be scrapped

Shell’s Brent Bravo platform topside has arrived at Able UK’s Able Seaton Port following its removal from the UK North Sea with the giant Pioneering Spirit vessel earlier this week. 

Brent Bravo; Source: Able UK

The Allseas-owned Pioneering Spirit vessel removed the 25,000 t Brent Bravo topsides last Tuesday. Watch the video of the removal operation here.

The operation took approximately four hours, from positioning the vessel around the platform to the moment of the lift. The actual “fast lift” of the topsides took only nine seconds.

UK’s decommissioning expert, Able UK, announced the arrival of the topsides to its port on Thursday, June 20 in preparation for its dismantling and recycling.

The Brent Bravo, which stands 410ft tall and 230ft wide, is the second platform from the Shell Brent field to be decommissioned at Able Seaton Port—the first, the Brent Delta, arrived in May 2017. Both were transported from north-east of Shetland by the Pioneering Spirit, one of the largest vessels ever built.

After arriving off the North East coast, the Brent Bravo was transferred to a 200-meter long barge, the Iron Lady, for the final part of the journey to Able Seaton Port where it is currently moored on Quay 6.

Next week, the final manoeuvre will see the platform ‘skidded’ on to the multi-million-pound demolition pad which forms part of what is probably the strongest quay in Europe, Able UK said.

Peter Stephenson, founder and Executive Chairman of Able UK, said: “As with the Brent Delta, this operation has involved one of the heaviest lifts ever undertaken and is a success for everyone involved, especially our partners Shell and Allseas.

“Once again the Brent Bravo will provide a spectacular addition to the Teesside skyline for some time as we undertake the decommissioning program with the aim of recycling over 98 percent of the structure.”

Able invested £28 million in constructing this new facility to meet the requirements for handling the Brent platforms.

During 2020, Able Seaton Port will welcome a number of other new large-scale projects including the next element of the Shell project – the Brent Alpha – as well a series of platforms and structures from the ExxonMobil operated Sable Offshore Energy Project (SOEP) off the coast of Nova Scotia, Canada.

Furthermore, from September 2020, Able Seaton Port will be the installation base for the 90 turbines that will comprise the Triton Knoll offshore wind farm.

Stephenson commented: “We have invested very significantly over the last few years and we are now seeing the results. There is a certain synergy in being engaged with the end of life process for parts of the oil and gas sector whilst also being heavily involved with the development of offshore wind farms as the new focus for power generation..”

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