Scotland business

Brent Delta platform arrives in Teesside to be scrapped

Brent Delta
Image caption Brent Delta has been taken to Hartlepool

A major project to decommission the Brent Delta platform is nearing its final stage.

Having earlier been lifted on to the Pioneering Spirit transporter ship 115 miles north east of Shetland, it has now been transported to Teesside for a barge transfer to Hartlepool to be scrapped.

The 24,000 tonne Brent Delta platform topsides sat on a three-legged gravity-based structure in 140m of water.

Shell wants to leave the legs in place.

Unusually for a platform, the legs of Brent Delta are made of concrete which makes it much more difficult to decommission than one with steel legs.

Allseas, the company which operates the decommissioning vessel Pioneering Spirit, said it had set a world lifting record with the removal of the platform.

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Media captionThe platform was lifted on to a huge purpose-built ship

It is one of the first major pieces of infrastructure to be decommissioned in the North Sea.


What is Brent Delta?

Brent Delta was one of the first platforms to be built in the very early days of Britain's oil and gas industry.

It was about 115 miles (185km) north-east of Shetland in a cluster of four platforms which make up the Brent field. Its sister, Brent Bravo, produced its first oil in 1976.

At its peak, in 1982, the four platforms were producing more than half a million barrels of oil a day.

Being one of the first, it's now at the end of its life and has to be removed.

More than 100 platforms are forecast to be completely or partially removed over the next decade in the waters of the UK and Norway.

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