World’s largest construction vessel brings heaviest load to UK shore

Shell’s Brent Delta platform topside has reached a UK yard where it will be decommissioned.

To remind, the topside was lifted off its offshore location last week by Allseas’ Pioneering Spirit vessel, in an effort that has been described as the world record in lifting.

The topside weighs around 24,000 tons. The lift, using the largest construction vessel ever built, was performed on Friday, April 28, 2017.

The Brent Delta topside has this week reached the Able UK decommissioning yard in Teesside, North East England where it will be recycled over the course of 12 months. Around 97 per cent of the structure will be recycled.

After arriving off the North East coast the topside was transferred to a 200 meters long barge, the Iron Lady which was moored at Able’s specialist facility on May 2.

In the coming days the topside will be skidded onto the new ASP Quay Six, described by Able as one of the strongest in Europe, for the start of the decommissioning.

Able UK’s founder and Executive Chairman Peter Stephenson said upon the arrival of the topside: “Today is a triumph for everyone involved in one of the heaviest lifts ever to take place—especially our partners Shell and Allseas, with whom we have worked for several years to meet the huge technical challenges involved.

“For our company it is the clearest possible vindication of our determination to establish Able Seaton Port as a world-class facility. The Brent decommissioning project is the most significant project of its type to date and of crucial importance to us is the fact that Able was selected against an initial longlist of 131 potential disposal yards.

“It has involved a big commitment on our part—we have invested c. £28million in the new quay and associated developments—we believe that the investment is worthwhile, not just for this contract but the potential for us to be at the forefront of a business which is set to grow to meet the need to decommission platforms as they come to the end of their operational lives.

“This marks the start of our work on the Brent Delta platform. The next stage over the coming days will be its transfer to the new Quay Six after which we will conduct detailed surveys in preparation for the decommissioning programme which we expect to complete within 12 months.”

The Shell-operated Brent field, located 115 miles north-east of the Shetland Islands, has produced around three billion barrels of oil equivalent since production started in 1976, which is almost 10% of UK production.

Located in the Brent field, approximately 186 km off the north-east coast of Shetland, the Brent Delta topsides sat on a three-legged gravity-based structure which stands in 140 m of water.

A video of the Brent Delta arrival can be seen here:

Offshore Energy Today Staff

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