Photo: Thialf and Sleipnir at Bravo at same time; Source: TAQA

TAQA kicks off one of largest decommissioning projects in North Sea

Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (TAQA) has started the first major asset removal project and one of the largest topside removal projects of its kind in the North Sea.

TAQA took over the operatorship of the Brae area, located in the UK North Sea, from RockRose in 2020 following court proceedings brought on by TAQA and other partners in the field.

The Brae Bravo platform, first commissioned in 1988, is being removed over three separate phases in 2021 and 2022, using two of the world’s largest semi-submersible crane vessels (SSCVs), Heerema’s Thialf and Sleipnir.

Thialf and Sleipnir at Bravo at same time - TAQA
Thialf and Sleipnir at Bravo at same time. Source: TAQA

TAQA said on Friday that the first campaign, which began in April, saw the two SSCVs simultaneously in the field for several days to prepare and ultimately remove the flare tower, bridge, and jacket. Thialf remains in the field to complete final preparatory works and module separation to allow final removal in the summer.

For the second campaign, Sleipnir will remove the remaining topsides during two trips to the field during the summer of 2021, at which point the only remaining visible element of Brae Bravo will be the top of the jacket above the sea surface.

A dedicated navigational aid will be placed on the remaining structure and a 500-metre safety zone will remain in place until jacket decommissioning is completed in 2022.

All waste materials will be transported to the AF Environmental Base in Vats, Norway and processed, aiming for a 95 per cent recycling or reuse target.

Donald Taylor, TAQA Managing Director for Europe, commented: “TAQA Europe is embarking on one of the largest decommissioning exercises in the North Sea to date. The Brae Bravo has been an integral part of the Brae fields for more than three decades with the size and scale of the platform, including the topside structure, almost the height of the London Eye“.

Taylor added: “Over the last 33 years, Brae Bravo has been an important contributor to the UK oil and gas industry with many people having long-standing connections to the platform. This project will involve more than 500 people working offshore on the programme during peak decommissioning operations, and we are committed to delivering safe and efficient execution of this milestone”.