Hundreds flock to see massive oil rig in Hartlepool

Guests, including schoolchildren, visiting the giant Brent Delta platform which is be decommissioned and recycled at Able Seaton Port.
Guests, including schoolchildren, visiting the giant Brent Delta platform which is be decommissioned and recycled at Able Seaton Port.

Hundreds of visitors have been to see one of Hartlepool’s most impressive ever sights.

Civic and business leaders, together with retired workers, local residents and more than 100 schoolchildren were welcomed to Able UK’s Seaton Port facility to see the massive Shell Brent Delta platform for themselves.

The former Brent Delta oil platform arrives on the Iron Lady at Able UK's Seaton Port.

The former Brent Delta oil platform arrives on the Iron Lady at Able UK's Seaton Port.

The huge structure arrived at the facility last month and will be dismantled over the coming months.

The 24,200-tonne platform was transported from the Brent oil and gas field north-east of the Shetland Islands in a highly-complex operation, using the largest construction vessel ever built, the Allseas Pioneering Spirit.

After arriving off the North East coast the topside was transferred to a 200-metre- long barge, the Iron Lady, which was successfully moored at Able’s specialist facility on the River Tees, with the structure then transferred to its final resting place, a new multi-million- pound quay for the start of the decommissioning process.

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen, Hartlepool’s recently-elected MP Mike Hill and Hartlepool Council leader Christopher Ackers-Belcher joined with local business leaders and Government representatives to be briefed on all stages of the ground-breaking project to bring the platform to Able Seaton Port, including details of the final decommissioning and recycling process.

We are indebted to those that have taken time out to take to visit our facility, not least the 350 visitors on the community day.

Peter Stephenson

Local schools that visited included English Martyrs, High Tunstall, St Hilds, Manor Community Academy and Dyke House.

Although the dismantling of the Delta rig is not the first such project to be undertaken in the UK, it is believed to be the biggest.

More than 97% of the material recovered from the massive rig will be reused or recycled, creating another 100 jobs for that process.

Able Executive Chairman Peter Stephenson said: “The visits provided all of the parties – ourselves, Shell and Allseas – with the opportunity to not only showcase this very exciting project but also to explain its significance and the contribution that it will make to the Teesside economy – around 50 jobs and three brand new apprenticeships.

“We were also able to re-affirm our own commitment to maximising our recruitment in the locality – with almost half of our workforce living in Hartlepool and over 80% in the Tees Valley.

“We are indebted to those that have taken time out to take to visit our facility, not least the 350 visitors on the community day.

“We are extremely grateful for their support, their interest and the incredibly positive feedback that we have received from all concerned.”