Brent: a short history
The Brent field, off the north east coast of Scotland, was served by four platforms: Brent Alpha, Brent Bravo, Brent Charlie and Brent Delta.
The field was discovered in 1971 and Brent Bravo began production in 1976.
At its peak in 1982 the Brent field produced more than 500,000 barrels of oil a day: enough to meet the annual energy needs of around half Britain’s homes.
Production from the field has generated £20 billion in tax revenue for the UK.
Shell established its decommissioning project in 2006, overseen by a panel of independent scientific experts, to explore how to safely decommission the structures. The company is finalising its proposals to the UK government ahead of a public consultation.
97% of the platforms’ “topsides” – the structures that sit on the legs and are visible above the surface – will be recycled.
The four topsides weigh 100,000 tonnes between them.
Brent Alpha is supported by a 31,500 tonne steel structure. The other three platforms stand on concrete bases, each weighing more than 300,000 tonnes.
All four platforms, if placed on the ground, would be as tall as the Eiffel Tower.