Our largest decommissioning project is taking place in the Brent oil and gas field, in the UK North Sea. Shell has worked on a new engineering approach to remove the Brent Delta platform’s 24,200-tonne topsides – its deck, including an accommodation block, helipad, drilling and other operational areas – in one lift.
Swiss-based company Allseas has designed and commissioned a new type of vessel, named “Pioneering Spirit”, for the lifting operation. Removing the topsides in one piece will involve less risk, environmental impact and cost than other more traditional decommissioning techniques.
Once the topsides have been removed, more than 97% of their materials will be recycled. Some of the steel has been donated to a local railway project to make a small footbridge in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, for example.