UK: Able preparing for Shell’s Brent Delta arrival


Able UK, a specialist for decommissioning and disposal of offshore oil and gas structures, has said that the receipt of the Shell Brent Delta topside at Able Seaton Port is imminent. 

The company said on Monday that it anticipates the arrival will take place in early May but this is subject to a number of variables, including tide and weather.

To recall, Able was awarded a contract for the disposal of four offshore structures from the Shell operated Brent field in the North Sea back in February 2014. The field comprises four large platforms: Alpha (a steel jacket), Bravo, Charlie and Delta (concrete gravity-based structures).

According to the contract, three platform topsides, as well as a 138 meters high steel platform jacket, will be transported from the Brent field 100 miles north east of Scotland to Able Seaton Port on Teesside.

Meanwhile, to accommodate the arrival of the single piece large-scale elements of the contract, Able has designed and constructed a new quay, investing £28 million in the new Quay 6 and associated developments. This process involved 193,000 man hours.

According to the company, the decommissioning contract features new techniques, specifically the deployment of the Pioneering Spirit, a dynamically positioned vessel for single lift removal of large offshore facilities.

The Allseas-owned Pioneering Spirit vessel was chosen for the removal of the Brent platforms in 2013 while it was still under construction.

Able’s work for Shell will achieve a recycling rate of 97% and create/safeguard around 50 jobs with associated apprenticeships. The re-cycling of the Brent Delta topside is expected to be completed within 12 months.

Shell submitted its decommissioning program for the Brent oil and gas field to the authorities this February kicking off an extended 60-day public consultation period. The decommissioning program proposed the removal of the the upper steel jacket on the Brent Alpha platform, along with the topsides of the four Brent platforms, debris lying on the seabed, and the attic oil contained within the concrete storage cells of the gravity base structures.

The proposed program sparked outrage from the environmentalist groups that rejected the plan citing “insufficient information” as the reason.

Offshore Energy Today Staff

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