Shell's giant Brent Alpha oil and gas platform, removed from its offshore location in the North Sea earlier this week, has arrived on Thursday at Able Seaton Port in the UK where it will be scrapped.
The 44-year-old Brent Alpha is the third platform from the Shell Brent field to be decommissioned at Able Seaton Port.
As with the previous Brent platform, the Brent Delta and Brent Bravo, the operation involved Allseas’ giant single lift vessel ‘Pioneering Spirit’, with the final stage involving the transfer to the Allseas’ cargo barge ‘The Iron Lady’ for the tow into the Seaton Channel and load-in at Able Seaton Port’s quay 6.
Peter Stephenson, founder and Executive Chairman of Able UK, Stephenson said that revealed that, as well as the arrival of the Brent Alpha, further major contracts are set to begin over the coming months, including in the offshore wind sector.
He said: "The Brent contract is just about the most prestigious oil and gas decommissioning project in the world. The fact that we were selected is testament to our commitment to undertake complex and challenging operations to the highest environmental standards, working with many of the world’s major energy companies.
“Gaining our reputation as a market leader has involved major investments at Able Seaton Port, including constructing one of the strongest quays in Europe, with the aim of both remaining at the forefront of the decommissioning industry as well as becoming a key player in exploiting the vast potential of the emerging offshore wind sector.
"As well as beginning work on the Brent Alpha, a further decommissioning contract will commence in July and from the middle of September, Able Seaton Port will be providing the installation base for the 90 Mitsubishi Vestas turbines that will comprise Innogy’s 857MW Triton Knoll offshore wind farm," he said.
“We are uniquely placed to be engaged in the end of life process for parts of the oil and gas sector whilst at the same are becoming increasingly involved in the renewable energies of the future. In many respects we have the bases covered being heavily engaged at both ends of the offshore energy sectors. Even more so in these difficult times this has to be good news for our company, for our region and, of course, for our colleagues.”
According to Able, the Brent Alpha part of the project will safeguard approximately 80 jobs and is expected to take around 12 months. As with the previous two platforms in the contract, a recycling rate of c 97% is expected.