Oil and gas firm TAQA said Friday that Heerema Marine Contractors had successfully removed the topside of its Brae Bravo platform in the UK North Sea.
"This marked the completion of two successful ground-breaking campaigns with HAF, the Heerema Marine Contractor and AF Offshore Decom (AFOD) consortium contracted to complete the Brae Bravo removal and disposal scopes," TAQA said.
Heerema used two giant semi-submersible crane vessels, Thialf and Sleipnir for the operation.
The first campaign, carried out from the Thialf, prepared the platform for removal and removed the cranes and helideck. During these activities, Sleipnir simultaneously completed the removal of the Brae Bravo flare tower, bridge, and jacket marking the first time these two semi-submersible crane vessels converged in the North Sea, TAQA said.
The second campaign saw the Sleipnir return to the site to remove the remaining modules and transport them to the dismantling yard.
The 36,000-ton structure was sent to the AFOD Environmental Base in Vats, Norway, and is now being processed with the aim of reusing or recycling 95% or more of the material.
Donald Taylor, TAQA Managing Director for Europe, said: “The Brae Bravo decommissioning project is a landmark moment for both TAQA and the North Sea offshore industry. The scale of this engineering feat cannot be overstated. Despite the challenges faced by the on and offshore team of the COVID-19 pandemic, this was completed on schedule and without any major incidents recorded – highlighting our commitment to health and safety.
“Decommissioning and late-life management of offshore assets will play a major role in our journey to a lower carbon future, and Brae Bravo will be the blueprint for all future TAQA decommissioning programs in the North Sea.”
Over its 33-year lifetime, Brae Bravo produced more than 500 million barrels of oil equivalent.
The only remaining visible element of Brae Bravo now is the top of the jacket above the sea surface.
A dedicated navigational aid has been installed on the remaining structure and a 500-metre safety zone will remain in place until the jacket is decommissioned is in 2022, TAQA said.
The Brae Bravo platform, first commissioned in 1988, is located 191km (119 miles) east of Sumburgh Head, Shetland in block 16/7a. Prior to the removal of the topsides, the platform consisted of a topside weighing 36,000 tonnes and a jacket substructure weighing 22,500 tonnes.
Following the installation of the platform in 1987, the first oil was achieved on 13th April 1988 and reached a peak production of 94,567 boepd.
In December 2017 production ceased from the native wells, on July 6, 2018 production ceased from third-party subsea tie-backs. After that, the platform was disembarked in July 2019.